In the wake of two high-profile train accidents in Washington, D.C., and Boston, the National Transportation Safety Board, this week, made a recommendation to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to facilitate the development and implementation of positive train control for rail transit systems nationwide. It also urged the FTA to advise all rail transit operators with train control systems capable of monitoring train movements to evaluate their systems for adequate safety redundancy.
With public transportation enjoying record investment, there will soon be new rail lines, improved infrastructure and top-of-the-line equipment for riders to take advantage of and the industry to point at as a positive leap toward creating a more intermodal transportation system. Ridership gains are sure to follow as the prevalence of local public transportation systems grow, as well as the nation’s confidence in those systems.
Let’s be honest. Whether it is operations, capital equipment, high-speed rail lines or any of the many other areas that are crying for investment, everybody has an opinion as to which deserves to have more money thrown its way. Perhaps, we should take a step back and realize what will be the most important aspect to invest in: creating nationwide standards for ensuring that these growing public transportation systems and accompanying riderships will be safe and accident-free.
It drives me nuts when people litter. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people throw trash out of their car windows while they’re driving. I’m always tempted to honk my horn when I see drivers slyly ditching cigarette butts through their open window. Listen up, people. We see you!
Agencies that use Twitter to respond to users’ complaints or answer questions get more positive Twitter reaction and more civil discourse online, according to Lisa Schweitzer the author of a recent study analyzing tweets of public transit agencies. “It’s about the marketing potential of social media — a lot of public transit agencies are simply tweeting their problems to the world by blasting out late service announcements. That’s not a good use of Twitter,” she says. “Transit agencies can influence the tone of the discussion by interacting with patrons online,” Schweitzer explains. “It gives people something to respond to, and it reminds people that somebody is listening.”
Usually by early January, I will hopefully have taken down the last of our holiday decorations and eaten or given away the remaining sweets that have become a part of my regular diet during the month of December. Then, of course like most people, I’ll think about ways I want to improve myself for the coming year. Whether it be exercising more (walking from the parking lot to my office doesn’t count), eating less ice cream or managing my email better. The latter practice alone would help improve my efficiency at work immensely. I’m sure you probably feel the same way.
A new National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study solidifies what the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Transit Savings Report has been telling us for years now: riding public transportation can save users money.
June 20 will mark the 8th annual National Dump the Pump Day sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, in partnership with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council.