Transit Dispatches

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

Back to the list

September 27, 2011

OCTA CEO: Kick-starting new routines this fall for commuters

by Will Kempton

It’s that time of year when the leaves are beginning to change colors (although in Orange County we’re still enjoying our sunshine) and kids are heading back to school.

While my children are grown, September still brings with it the comforts of fall, which has always meant returning to a routine. But in Orange County and across the nation, transit agencies are hoping to convince people to try a new routine, one that doesn’t require them to drive solo.

Rideshare Week, which kicks off Oct. 3, is an annual event that focuses on the importance of commuters sharing the ride to get to where they need or want to go. It encourages employers and their employees to take the bus or train, vanpool, carpool, walk or ride a bike.

Here at Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) our marketing staff has put together a campaign to promote the week and worked with the community to offer incentives for those who choose to participate. Commuters in Orange County can pledge to share the ride one or more days throughout the week, and those who do, have a chance to win a variety of prizes including iPads, gift certificates, Disneyland tickets and a bike gift basket, which all have been donated.

There are many reasons why people may choose to rideshare. For some, it saves them time or the headache from traffic, and for others like David Styffe, it’s the financial savings along with the satisfaction of being environmentally conscious.

“I used to drive alone, but I recently started commuting on the bus from my home in Fullerton to my job in Santa Ana,” said Styffe, an Orange County commuter who in May began taking public transit. “My main reason to start riding the bus was to save money. I also appreciate the fact that I'm doing something environmentally and socially beneficial.  I was surprised about how good it feels.”

It is our job, as transportation agencies, to educate the public about the benefits of sharing the ride and provide incentives that encourage people to experiment with alternative transportation modes.

Very often the fear of trying something new keeps commuters away from public transit, but once they try our services they see how easy, efficient and relaxing it really can be.

Rideshare Week is just one part of OCTA’s efforts to encourage alternative forms of transportation. We also host Bike to Work Week, hold bike workshops and safety classes, subsidize the cost for vanpools and offer special transit passes to employers. In addition, OCTA is encouraging the use of commuter-rail service for recreational use by offering more train service to special events such as baseball games, concerts and the Del Mar Racetrack.

Together, these programs are bringing to light the benefits of ride sharing and ultimately should help make a dent in Southern California’s car culture.

For more information about OCTA’s Rideshare program, visit www.octa.net/sharetheride.

In case you missed it...

Read our METRO blog, "Is public transit doomed for good?"


Write a letter to the editor
deli.cio.us digg it stumble upon newsvine


    There are no comments.

E-NEWSLETTER

Receive the latest Metro E-Newsletters in your inbox!

Join the Metro E-Newsletters and receive the latest news in your e-mail inbox once a week. SIGN UP NOW!

View the latest eNews
Express Tuesday | Express Thursday | University Transit

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


White Papers

Mass Transit Capital Planning An overview of the world-class best practices for assessing, prioritizing, and funding capital projects to optimize resources and align with the organization’s most critical immediate and long-term goals.

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

More white papers


STORE
METRO Magazine - August 2013

METRO Magazine
Here are the Highlight:
  • Paratransit Survey: Operators Grapple with Funding Retention
  • Temsa Vehicles Bring Smoother, Quieter Riders to U.S. Market
  • Ridership Growth Spurs Twin City’s Transit to Expand Services
    And much more…
  •  
    DIGITAL EDITION

    The full contents of Metro Magazine on your computer! The digital edition is an exact replica of the print magazine with enhanced search, multimedia and hyperlink features. View the current issue