News and stories by Janna Starcic

Janna Starcic

Executive Editor, METRO Magazine

Safeguard my personal data — our democracy depends on it

Safeguard my personal data — our democracy depends on it

July 31, 2019

“Cities and private companies must take steps to safeguard data and ensure that individual privacy — a foundation of democratic society — is protected.”

Fighting against human trafficking is everyone's duty

Fighting against human trafficking is everyone's duty

July 17, 2019

U.S. traffickers have been shown to use all modes of transportation to find their next victims. Initiatives are being placed to combat trafficking and empower operators to act. 

Focusing on ‘abilities’ gives those with disabilities a ‘sense of purpose’

Focusing on ‘abilities’ gives those with disabilities a ‘sense of purpose’

June 26, 2019

I recently learned about a program offered by Transport for London that provides “people with mild to moderate learning disabilities and those on the autism spectrum the chance to gain skills and work experience.”

Come Together to Shut Down the Shutdown, Fund a Transit Bill

Come Together to Shut Down the Shutdown, Fund a Transit Bill

February 12, 2019

As I write this, we are a few days away from another potential government shutdown if negotiations on border security are not hammered out.

New Year, New Hopes for the Motorcoach Industry

New Year, New Hopes for the Motorcoach Industry

December 19, 2018

Hiring and retaining drivers is the greatest challenge facing motorcoach operators, according to 70% of respondents of METRO Magazine's 2019 Motorcoach Survey. The public transit industry is not immune to this issue either.

When voting 'yes' says 'no' to funding for transportation

When voting 'yes' says 'no' to funding for transportation

November 6, 2018

I’m crossing my fingers that by the time you read this, the proposition repealing California’s gas tax and vehicle fees (SB 1) will have failed.

Lest we forget, we are all human beings

Lest we forget, we are all human beings

July 2, 2018

As you may know, I like to use this column to draw attention to transportation-related issues that are important to me, such as climate change, accessibility, and innovation.

HART Focuses on the Future with High-Tech Initiatives, Ridership Strategies

HART Focuses on the Future with High-Tech Initiatives, Ridership Strategies

May 7, 2018

Earlier this year, the transit agency, May Mobility, and the City of Tampa showcased autonomous vehicle technology on Downtown Tampa city streets.

Q&A with UMA President/CEO Stacy Tetschner

Q&A with UMA President/CEO Stacy Tetschner

December 28, 2017

He joined the association following 25 years at the National Speakers Association where he served as CEO for the past 18 years. Beyond his role leading NSA, Tetschner is an active member of the American Society of Association Executives 

Can Public Transportation Save the World from Climate Change?

Can Public Transportation Save the World from Climate Change?

September 26, 2017

How public transportation figures into cities’ and states’ climate change commitments, even after the U.S. announces its withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord.

Florida’s Brightline to Boost Intercity Train Travel

Florida’s Brightline to Boost Intercity Train Travel

June 12, 2017

The first phase of the express passenger rail service, costing more than $1 billion, will connect the region’s main Central Business Districts of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, while Phase 2 will connect Orlando.

BRT Focus: Orange County Transportation Authority - Orange, Calif.

BRT Focus: Orange County Transportation Authority - Orange, Calif.

April 13, 2017

The agency's two limited-stop routes offer more frequent service and faster commute times along two of the County's busiest transit corridors.

Jacksonville Works to Provide Quality Service, While Delivering Diverse Project Portfolio

Jacksonville Works to Provide Quality Service, While Delivering Diverse Project Portfolio

September 15, 2016

Recently lauded by APTA as a top transit system, the Florida-based agency has numerous capital projects in the works, including a multimodal hub, a roadway and mobility corridors program, BRT, automated monorail updates, and improvements to the local ferry service.

Q&A: Charlotte Area Transit System CEO Lewis

Q&A: Charlotte Area Transit System CEO Lewis

May 16, 2016

Lewis is leading the agency through a significant stage of growth to construct the LYNX Blue Line Light Rail Extension and advance the CityLYNX Gold Line Phase 2 streetcar through final design and into construction.

Can Courtesy Campaigns Curb the 'Trashing' of Transit?

Can Courtesy Campaigns Curb the 'Trashing' of Transit?

June 30, 2015

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!

How transit agencies can manage the 'blizzard' of negativity on Twitter

How transit agencies can manage the 'blizzard' of negativity on Twitter

April 28, 2015

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.”

8 Resolutions to Help Better Your Bus Business

8 Resolutions to Help Better Your Bus Business

January 16, 2015

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.

Sonoma County Strengthens Commitment to CNG with New Fleet

Sonoma County Strengthens Commitment to CNG with New Fleet

September 24, 2014

With intercity routes forming the core of the agency's route network, the new fleet features high-back reclining seats and Wi-Fi.

2014 Paratransit Survey: Ridership Sees Steady Increase, Travel Training on the Rise

2014 Paratransit Survey: Ridership Sees Steady Increase, Travel Training on the Rise

September 24, 2014 Sixty-six percent of operators cited an increase in rides delivered, with an average of 13% reported. More than one-half tap travel training programs to help alleviate demand on fixed-route, while only 16% use taxis to supplement fleets.
Enhancing Paratransit Operator Customer Service Skills

Enhancing Paratransit Operator Customer Service Skills

August 19, 2013 Providing good customer service in a paratransit environment is about understanding and respecting people with disabilities as people and customers first. Bringing in the customer’s perspective by including customers with disabilities on panels or advisory boards is a recommended practice.

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