Community Bus to Serve in Illinois


 As soon as next spring,  Connect Transit officials plan to give a newly retired bus a second life as Bloomington-Normal’s first community bus.

     “We want to make a section of the bus a fresh (food) market. We’re also working on free medical screenings and voter registration drives,” said Isacc Thorne, CT general manager. “This is a huge opportunity to do a lot of positive things for the community and spread our message.

     The bus would also give Connect Transit a consistent, mobile venue to host events and engage the community, according to Jeff Holtke, CT marketing manager. “We could just say, ‘Our bus is going to be here at this time. Come see us.'”

     Officials plan to invite the public to help them give the project a catchy name.     



Boring Comes to Maryland

boringMaryland has given The Boring Company permission to start work on a Hyperloop train tunnel from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. The tunnel will mark the start of a futuristic commuter route envisioned by the company’s founder, Elon Musk.

     Musk plans an underground system that will take passengers from Washington to New York, with stops in Baltimore and Philadelphia, in just 29 minutes.

     “Our administration is proud to support The Boring Company to bring rapid electric transportation to Maryland,” Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted Thursday.

     Musk purchased a second tunnel-boring machine for the Maryland project. He announced on Twitter that it is named Line-Storm, in honor of a Robert Frost poem called “A Line-Storm Song.”

     Hyperloop technology uses electric motors and magnets to transport train cars through a low-pressure tube.



Green Line Makes Green Lights Priority

trafficBoston buses and trolleys will soon be able to save time by catching more green lights at busy intersections.

     Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority prepared five traffic signals for “transit signal prioritization.” The agency will soon change 89 more traffic signals to allow Green Line drivers to request a green light when approaching an intersection.

     “We anticipate that the run time and on-time performance (will be) improving,” said Jessica Casey, deputy chief operating officer.

     Transit signal prioritization is a relatively new and highly successful innovation in the U.S. It debuted in 2000 in Los Angeles, where adding more green lights cut bus travel times by roughly 25 percent. The city has served as a national model ever since.  Metro Transit in St. Paul, Minnesota reduced trip times by 10 to 15 percent after outfitting 19 intersections with the technology in 2014.

(Sources:, photo by Olga Khvan on,,


World’s First in China

chinaThis week, officials at CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive started a test run of the world’s first driverless rapid transit system.

     The Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit system is in the city of Zhuzhou in central China’s Hunan Province. The system will be put into regular use next year.

     ARRT’s electric vehicle is equipped with sensors that can read road dimensions. The vehicle has successfully undergone 24 hours of non-stop road tests.

(Sources: photo from


‘Til Later,

Jim Wilson,
BWAT General Manager

About Jim Wilson

Jim Wilson is General Manager at Blue Water Area Transit
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