In June, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a global pandemic of H1N1 – the so-called swine flu – had begun.
Currently, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reviewing key indicators and has found that influenza activity increased in the U.S. compared to the prior weeks, with visits to doctors for influenza-like illness increasing nationally; total influenza hospitalization rates for adults and children were similar to or lower than seasonal influenza hospitalization rates depending on age group, but higher than expected in the summer months; and 11 states (Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee) and Guam reporting widespread influenza activity.
With public transportation serving such a wide swath of people, some of whom will need to ride the bus or train to the doctor, it is important that agencies put in place some preventive measures and customer awareness programs, and many have. However, what may be important for the safety of drivers and quite possibly the passengers is to make influenza vaccinations for frontline employees mandatory. Several agencies are already taking this or a similar path. Are you planning on doing the same?
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.