Transportation for America and the Transportation Equity Network recently released a report, Stranded at the Station: The Impact of the Financial Crisis in Public Transportation, which stated that citizens across the nation are being hurt by the fare increases and service cuts that public transportation agencies are forced to make. The report is the first that focuses on the “conundrum” of increased demand for service, coupled with the worst funding crisis in decades. In its detailed examination of 25 transit systems, the authors found that local transit revenues are taking a huge hit because of the economy and that those effects are being compounded by failures in federal policy. The authors also note that these cuts and fare hikes disproportionately harm older Americans and racial minorities, populations that account for nearly 48 percent of households without a vehicle.
With agencies around the nation continually exploring ways to maintain services and increase their fleets, including proposing tax referendums, which get shot down, it seems that states alone have no chance to step up and help fill the gap, especially here in California where the legislators cannot even agree on a budget. So, are agencies really out of luck on the state level? If so, what in the world can the feds do to rectify the situation? It seems to me that time is running out to make something happen.
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.