This week, Blue Water Wave looks at transit agencies gaining support from a mayor, two universities and a health care system.
About Blue Water Wave… BWAT general manager Jim Wilson comments on what’s happening in transit in the Blue Water Area, as well as interesting transit-related developments all around the globe. He observes new challenges, solutions, strategies, trends, and perspectives within the transit industry.
Toledo Mayor to Ride Bus to Work
After assuming office next month, Toledo mayor-elect Wade Kapszukiewicz plans to ride public transportation to work once a week. Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority officials say the ride from his Old Orchard home will take 25 minutes..
“TARTA needs our help. We need a robust public transportation system.” Mr. Kapszukiewicz explained during a speech to the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce. “I personally think that I can set an example in bringing about some change.”
He also plans to decline his personal use of a city-owned car.
(Sources: toledoblade.com, tarta.com, photo from electwade.com)
Utah Universities To Sponsor Transit Rides
Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University will sponsor free Utah Transit Authority passes. Each school will pay $1 million each year for the passes. The more than 100,000 recipients will include all the students and employees, plus their spouses and dependents, at both schools.
The offer will start in August 2018. That same month, UTA will launch a Provo-Orem bus rapid transit service. (BYU is located in Provo and UVU is located in Orem.)
The UTA passes are good for riding on all of the agency’s bus and rail services. Both schools will distribute passes for ten years.
“This is an effort to provide a service to our campus community that will also reduce congestion and promote clean air in the valley,” said BYU president Kevin J. Worthen. UTA estimates that their new bus rapid transit service will reduce pollutants by more than 400,000 pounds annually.
“We want our students to focus on their academic careers and not on transportation and parking,” added UVU president Matt Holland.
(Sources: sltrib.com, deseretnews.com)
MetroHealth Brands Cleveland Line
The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority introduced its new MetroHealth Line during a Dec. 7 ribbon-cutting ceremony. The rebranded line was originally three popular RTA routes (51 A, B and C). It links the MetroHealth campus with downtown Cleveland and city neighborhoods and suburbs.
RTA partnered with the MetroHealth System to rebrand the new line. The System agreed to pay $4.1 million for 25 years of naming rights, with $125,000 due the first year. RTA rebranded the line’s 20 vehicles, more than 400 bus stops and 37 shelters.
“The MetroHealth Line is part of a robust effort to make sure our neighborhood becomes a self-sustaining, vibrant area,” said Akram Boutros, MD, MetroHealth president and chief executive officer.
In 2008, RTA became the first transit system in the nation to sell naming rights sponsorships to its assets. That was for the HealthLine.
“Since its launch, the HealthLine has seen annual ridership increase by 60 percent and has generated more than $6.3 billion in economic development,” according to Joe Calabrese, RTA chief operating officer and general manager.
(Sources: cleveland.com, clevescene.com, apta.com, .metrohealth.org, riderta.com)
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