With a new year, many of us feel, despite the many problems in the world, that some optimism is finally justified, especially since the past two years took their toll on nearly every industry.
This could just be me acting on my New Year's resolution to stay positive, but I hope there's more to it than that. So far, 2011 seems to be looking up. Already, in the past two weeks, there have been some uplifting stories in the transit world.
Our Top 50 motorcoach survey may have gotten me started in this direction. Hopefully, business will continue its upward trend for coach operators: http://www.metro-magazine.com/Article/Story/2011/01/Motorcoach-Top-50-Report-Sunny-Outlook.aspx
L.A. Metro just bid farewell to pollution-causing diesel for good, by ditching its last remaining diesel bus. My lungs thank you, Metro: http://www.metro-magazine.com/News/Story/2011/01/L-A-Metro-retires-last-diesel-bus.aspx
It looks like in the upcoming fiscal year, at least one transit agency, D.C. Metro, has managed to maintain its current service level and avoid fare hikes: http://www.metro-magazine.com/News/Story/2011/01/D-C-Metro-to-preserve-service-without-fare-hikes.aspx
Fledgling college students are bringing fewer cars with them to campus, reflecting a generational change in the transportation mindset: http://www.metro-magazine.com/News/Story/2011/01/Colorado-U-Boulder-sees-fewer-freshmen-bringing-cars.aspx
Additionally, at the University of Portland, both students and faculty are going greener with the school's many alternative transportation options: http://www.metro-magazine.com/News/Story/2011/01/U-of-Portland-s-green-transportation-efforts-paying-off.aspx
So, we have some sources of inspiration to look to. I think this is going to be a great year for transit. What about you? What do you foresee for the new year?
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.
Driving a bus never looked easy. Living in California and being stuck in my car as much as I am, I’ve always had tremendous respect for the men and women who operate buses on a daily basis. So, when the call came that I would get my shot to drive in Sunday’s APTA Bus Roadeo, I was both excited and nervous.