Blue Water Area Transit is the first transit agency in Michigan to use the fully automatic Quantum wheelchair securement system. With the new system, passengers quickly secure their wheelchairs or other mobility devices, such as scooters or Amigos, in a stable and safe position after boarding a bus. Bus drivers no longer need to assist with the process, which will now take less than 25 seconds.
Quantum is designed to ensure new levels of rider independence, safety and dignity. Wheelchair using passengers simply push a button to engage the system’s automatic locking sequence. Quantum’s arms secure mobility devices by gripping the wheels.
We are glad to be able to provide our wheelchair using passengers with an easier and more respectful experience on our buses. This new system also helps us keep our buses on schedule, since drivers no longer need to disrupt the boarding process. As a result, all of our passengers enjoy an improved travel experience.
“It is exciting that our local transit company is committed to two things: first, maximizing individual choice by using state of the art equipment and also raising public awareness by promoting this new resource,” said Jim Whalen, executive director, Blue Water Center for Independent Living. “It is important that access be enhanced and that knowledge about it spreads.”
PUBLIC INVITED: The public is invited to learn more about the Quantum system on Wednesday, September 6, from 11 am to 1 pm, at BWAT’s bus transfer center in downtown Port Huron. BWAT staff and a Q’Straint factory representative will be available to demonstrate and answer questions about the Quantum system.
Cleveland Brands “Museum Stops”
The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority is rebranding two HealthLine bus rapid transit stations near University Circle as “Museum Stops.” University Circle features a concentration of education, medical, arts and cultural institutions in one city neighborhood.
“We want to make it easier for customers to know which stops to use when they want to visit the museums, gardens and other institutions in this amazing, culturally rich neighborhood,” said Joe Calabrese, CEO and general manager. “Every weekday, there are 266 trips on the HealthLine to and from these Museum Stops.”
The HealthLine service connects downtown Cleveland and University Circle. Nearly four million people travel on the service per year, a 60 percent increase since its 2008 opening. With five-minute frequency during peak travel periods, the HealthLine operates 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
New graphics on the stations help identify them as “Museum Stops” that are closest to attractions including the Cleveland Museum of Art and Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra. “Colorful artwork and depictions of area museums are included in the new designs that embellish the stations,” according to an RTA news release.
(riderta.com, cleveland.com, photo from freshwatercleveland.com)
Omaha Brands “Hip” New Rail
Omaha’s Metro transit agency unveiled a name and logo for their planned rapid transit bus service this month. The branding is designed to give the new service a hip image.
Metro named the service ORBT (pronounced “orbit”), short for Omaha Rapid Bus Transit. “It is short, rapid and memorable,” said Curt Simon, Metro executive director. The logo suggests “speed and forward momentum” he explained.
An online video (rideorbt.com) introduces the service as the exciting arrival of an unidentified flying object. Actually, ORBIT will use 60-foot buses that are fueled by compressed natural gas.
The agency started early to build awareness for ORBT. Metro is still designing the $30.5 million project. They plan to have ORBT running by the end of 2018.
(rideorbt.com, ometro.com, omaha.com)
China Starts First Rail Project in Egypt
Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels hired two Chinese state companies to build the first phase of a $1.24 billion light rail project. This is China’s first rail project in Egypt.
Chinese firms have aggressively saught projects in Egypt. The African country is a key partner for China in its “Belt and Road” initiative that aims to build transport and trade links between Europe and Asia.
The rail project will create new jobs for Egypt and promote the local construction industry. According to Han Bing, minister counselor for economic affairs with the Chinese embassy in Egypt, “Chinese companies will offer technology and equipment, while local companies will be responsible for the construction.”
The light rail system is expected to cover a distance of 66 km (41 miles) with eleven stops. It will connect the capital of Cairo with the under-construction new administrative capital and distant districts of Greater Cairo. It will accommodate 340,000 passengers daily and travel at a maximum speed of 120 kilometers per hour.
(ecns.cn. reuters.com, photo of Egyptian train from chinadaily.com)
BWAT General Manager