Soccer in the Streets launched the world’s first soccer program inside a major urban transit station. Atlanta United, a local Major League Soccer expansion franchise, provides grant funding for the project in the Five Points station of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.
“Our partnership effort will help foster a sense of community around our most active MARTA station,” said Keith T. Parker, MARTA general manager and CEO. “These collaborations are important because they turn a rail stop into a point of destination.”
The Five Points station is a strategic location for removing barriers that prevent youth from playing soccer (lack of access and poor transportation options). Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, the station is the hub of MARTA’s metro system.
Soccer in the Streets administers Station Soccer programs, with an emphasis on youth development and community outreach. Adult leagues help support the organization’s push to expand free youth programs.
(11alive.com, atlutd.com, bizjournals.com, photo from atlantaloop.com)
Port Huron Bus Hub Displays Art
St. Clair County Community Mental Health sponsored an art exhibition this month inside the Sail In Café & Convenience Store at Blue Water Area Transit’s downtown transfer center. The exhibition features the work of artists who use community mental health services.
Called “Creative Minds Changing Minds,” the two-year statewide traveling art show is sponsored by the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards.
According to MACMHB, the show has two goals. It helps de-stigmatize mental illness, intellectual/developmental disabilities and substance use disorders and highlights the recovery potential of the arts. “Tree Frog” by local artist John Knowles is one of 16 works of art included in the show.
“Stigma is the number one reason people don’t seek mental health treatment early enough,” said Debra Johnson, SCCCMH executive director.
SCCCMH operates Sail In as a training center for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and/or mental illness who want to gain employment skills in the food service and retail service industries.
The art show will return to the Blue Water Area in July 2017.
(macmhb.org, scccmh.org, thetimesherald.com)
France Opens Solar Road
In December, French officials opened what they believe is the world’s first solar panel road. It is located in the small village of Tourouvre-au-Perche in Normandy. The roadway is 0.6 mile long, with 30,000 square feet of photovoltaic cells.
During a two-year study, about 2,000 motorists will use the new solar road every day. The study will determine the durability of the panels and whether or not the road generates enough electricity to light the streets in the village of 3,400 residents.
The French civil engineering firm Colas built the solar roadway (known as Wattway). Colas is a subsidiary of construction giant Bouygues.
Before Wattway was opened, Colas tested the panels at four car parks across France. The panels are covered with a resin containing fine sheets of silicon to make them tough enough to withstand traffic.
French environment minister Ségolène Royal announced a four-year plan for the “national deployment of solar highways.” Future projects are already slated for western Brittany and southern Marseille.
(arstechnica.com, cnbc.com, sciencealert.com, france24.com, time.com, photo from theguardian.com )
Transit Cuts American Carbon Footprint
Public transportation use in the United States reduces our nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually. This is equivalent to the combined amount of electricity used by Washington, DC; New York City; Atlanta; Denver; and Los Angeles.
(source: American Public Transportation Association)
‘Til Next Time,
Jim Wilson, BWAT General Manager