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TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
Ten percent more people used Centro buses to get to the New York State Fair this year than last year, according to the bus authority's spokesman Steve Koegel. During the fair, Centro provided 212,122 rides from various Park-N-Ride stops throughout Onondaga, Cayuga & Oswego counties to the fair's main gate in Geddes. That's up 10.5 percent over last year. The fair rides boosted Centro's overall ridership from Aug. 21 to Sept. 1 to 900,000 -- or about 8 percent of the bus authority's yearly ridership.
TCAT is seeking community feedback in a series of public sessions to create its first ever Title VI Service Standards and Policy Plan - a big picture document that will guide TCAT in its service planning decisions in the future. To fully engage the public, TCAT Service Analyst Matt Yarrow and TCAT Service Development Manager Doug Swarts came up with an entertaining, interactive computer exercise to gather feedback on what times and frequency TCAT's bus service should be. Groups will be divided into four to five people, given instructions and a laptop; essentially they will become planners making the tough decisions on providing the best possible service without exceeding the budget.One of the perks of working at RTS is the opportunity to have a bus named for your child or grandchild. Before each new bus is rolled out to serve the public, a child’s name is painted on the outside and remains there for the life of the bus. RTS holds a drawing to choose children’s names and then dedicates the buses at a brief ceremony. Ceremonies on Sept. 13 will be part of the launching of 83 new buses for RTS and regional subsidiaries in Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Wayne and Wyoming counties.
The first class of the New York Public Transit Leadership Institute will begin their training next week at the New York Public Transit SOLUTIONS Fall Conference & Expo. Congratulations to Omar Alvarado of NICE Bus, Larry Kaminski of the Allegany/Western Steuben Rural Health Network, Joe Landy of CDTA, James Morrell of NFTA, Richard Nasso of CDTA and James Ramos of RTS.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) said it is loosening the restrictions on federal grants provided to states to help fund new transportation projects. Since the 1990s, the FHWA has required states to conduct a cost-benefit analysis known as value engineering on any highway improvement project that costs more than $25 million or any bridge project that
costs more than $20 million. The FHWA said value engineering saves the government an average of at least $1 billion each year.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
Seattle - A new smartphone app helps blind people navigate public transit in the Seattle area. The app, called StopInfo, is integrated into a popular existing app called OneBusAway that gives real time information on the location of city buses. StopInfo adds details that help blind riders find the bus stop. StopInfo is freely available and runs on iOS (iPhone), Android, and Windows Phone platforms, and also via
SMS, interactive voice response, and the Web. It's been widely used, according to Caitlin Bonnar, one of the app's creators.
Washington, DC - The American Public Transportation Association released a report documenting Millennials and their mobility needs. The report shows the decline in driving among Millennials and helps shed some light on the implications of this trend for public transportation in the United States. According to the report, Millennials are
multimodal which means they choose the best transportation mode based on the trip they are planning to take. The report highlights public transportation modes in five cities most populated with Millennials. In these cities, most Millennials rely on public transportation because of its convenience and environmental factor, the ability to digitally socialize, and the cost.
San Antonio - VIA Metropolitan Transit’s board of directors has approved spending $92 million in Texas Department of Transportation funds on a laundry list of items — none of which include the development of a rail system. “We appreciate TxDOT’s forward-looking support, providing funds that make it possible to improve service for the entire community,” says VIA President and CEO Jeffrey Arndt. “This makes public transportation more attractive for the people who ride VIA today and more attractive for future riders.”
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