Transit Dispatches

Contributing bloggers discuss a variety of topics geared toward the transit and motorcoach sectors.

50 years of public transit milestones and memories

In the public transit world, 1964 marked the world’s first high-speed rail network, driverless train and California breaking ground on the BART system. It was an important year for public transportation in Philadelphia, too. On Feb. 18, 1964, the organizational meeting that established what is now the nation's sixth largest transportation agency —SEPTA — was held.

Transit tech's future showcased at ITS World Congress

The Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress only occurs in the Americas once every three years and this Sept. 7 to 11 our industry returns to its origins. Five months from now in Detroit, 10,000 of the world’s high tech transportation leaders will gather to discuss and showcase the technologies that are driving the future of transportation.

Apple Transportation Program Stuck in Past

For years, Steve Jobs and company seem to have been our reliable guides to new technology and a better tomorrow. However, Apple’s decision to build a mammoth new headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. – miles from public transportation and adequate housing – amounts to a corporate denunciation of sustainability.

When branding new transit services, consider users first

The decision to add a new transit service can be energizing for transit agencies and communities alike. At the same time, however, this type of decision introduces a host of new questions your agency will need to address, including “What should the new service be named? What will the logo and branding look like? How will we reach consensus with all stakeholders? And, most importantly, “How will we attract and inform people who will want to use the system, so that the new line will be a success?”

Winter wreaks havoc, leaves transit weary

The winter of 2014 was relentless, with its deep freezes, ice storms, record snowfall, torrential rain and mudslides. The end of the season will be welcomed by transportation organizations across the country, especially in Philadelphia, where SEPTA’s service was impacted by 16 storms and weeks of extremely frigid temperatures.

What If We Sold Transit Fares Like Cell-Phone Minutes?

How many cell-phone minutes do you pay for in a month? Or gigabytes of data? Are you on a family plan? Do you get a group discount from work? What does this even have to do with transit? If we think of a transit trip like we do a cell-phone minute (or megabyte) we start to realize that there are many ways to package our usage.

SEPTA steps up to fight human trafficking

Transit can play a role in helping to stop human trafficking, considering the number of people using it 24 hours a day. SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel was recently joined by representatives from local social service agencies and a former human trafficking victim to discuss signs of the crime, law enforcement efforts and how the public can help.

Bus Wi-Fi system considerations for transit agencies

Finding Wi-Fi access on a moving vehicle is still a thrill for many transit riders. But with dozens of municipal public transportation systems across the country offering on-the-go Internet access — for example, Boston Oakland, Calif. — it’s clear the future of transportation in this country involves increasing Internet connectivity.

Why curb-to-curb service is simply not enough

It has been more than 20 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and many transit agencies continue to struggle with the quality of service, costs and the difficulties encountered in contracting the service. One of the most basic policy decisions an agency must make involves whether to provide door-to-door, or only curb-to-curb service.

Securing our borders with intelligent transportation solutions

The U.S. walks a daily tightrope between the need for security and the ability to move goods and people as freely as possible within immigration policy parameters. In the transportation world, we are working to develop technologies to move cross-border traffic more efficiently while ensuring secure borders.

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Author Bio

Heather Redfern

Press Relations Officer, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority


Scott Belcher

President and CEO, Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America)


Joel Volinski

Director, National Center for Transit Research at CUTR/USF


Brian Antolin

Consultant, Transportation and Travel Industry


Joe Zavisca

Joe Zavisca is an independent consultant specializing in paratransit service.


Paul Mackie

Communications Director, Mobility Lab

Paul Mackie is communications director at Mobility Lab, a leading U.S. voice of “transportation demand management.”


Rob Taylo

Founder/CEO SinglePoint Communications

Rob Taylo is founder/CEO of SinglePoint Communications, an exclusive U.S. distributor of WiFi in Motion.


Zack Shubkagel

Partner/Creative Director of Willoughby Design

Zack Shubkagel is partner and creative director for the San Francisco office of Willoughby Design, a strategic branding and design firm.


Amy Snyder

Communications Specialist, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District


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The Benefits of Door-to-Door Service in ADA Complementary Paratransit Many U.S. transit agencies continue to struggle with the quality of ADA service, the costs, and the difficulties encountered in contracting the service, which is the method of choice for a significant majority of agencies. One of the most basic policy decisions an agency must make involves whether to provide door-to-door, or only curb-to-curb service.

Mass transit mobile Wi-Fi & the public sector case study How Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority successfully implemented Wi-Fi on its light rail and bus lines

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METRO Magazine - November/December 2013

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Here are the Highlight:
  • Who Will Runn Transit Tomorrow
  • BusCon 2013 Expo Recap
  • Tracking Progress: Light Rail Projects in the U.S. and Beyond
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