It appears that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is going to save the transportation budget in two cities that recently completed studies concluding that this transit option would be cheaper and cover more distance.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Gov. Rick Snyder and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood scrapped the city's $528 million light rail project and instead chose a regional BRT system, saying economics was the primary factor. Nashville, Tenn., found that a BRT system will cost half as much to build as streetcars, but still draw the same number of riders.
This news wasn’t too surprising. Every year for our April issue, when I ask transit systems across the U.S. and Canada about their BRT project plans and why they chose them over other transit options, nearly all of them say it was cheaper than light rail.
However, with last week ‘s announcement that “high-speed rail is dead in America” in Slate.com, and a recent poll that showed 59% of Californians surveyed would not vote for the state’s high-speed rail project if given another opportunity, it seems like there’s an assault on rail right now that may be in part guiding these decisions. Is this just about money? Is rail becoming outmoded? What do you think?
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Read our METRO blog, "Make the season for giving last all year long," here.
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.