Many transit agencies faced challenges this month due to Hurricane Matthew. In cities along the southeast coast, officials were forced to shut down or cut back service, close facilities and protect vehicles.
The American Public Transportation Association learned about how some of the most severely affected Florida agencies prepared for the storm:
- Jacksonville Transportation Authority evacuated three beach locations. The agency moved half of its bus fleet to high ground outside the evacuation zone and the rest to higher ground on its main campus in downtown Jacksonville. JTA developed a comprehensive Hurricane Evacuation Guide, which it posts on its website.
- In Plantation, Broward County Transit evacuated more than 500 people from their homes throughout one evening and the next day.
- In Pompano Beach, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority moved rolling stock (50-60 vehicles) out of the storm’s direct path.
- Palm Tran in West Palm Beach posted route information on their website to help residents ride buses to public shelters. Maruti Transportation’s shared-ride, door-to-door paratransit service also transported residents to shelters.
(apta.com, marutitransit.com, palmtran.org, jtafla.com, photo from The Weather Channel website)
Albany Joins Breast Cancer Fight
This month, the Capital District Transportation Authority in Albany, New York, is working with the American Cancer Society in its fight against breast cancer. October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The agency covered one seat with pink fabric on each of its BusPlus BRT buses. It also hung tags with breast cancer facts and information about the city’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on all of the seats (see photo).
CDTA is the premier transportation partner for the Making Strides walk. It will transport walkers from two downtown Albany parking lots to the walk’s location in Washington Park. Officials predict that more than 15,000 people will attend and participate in the annual event.
(cdta.org, apta.com, photo from Capital District Transportation Authority website)
Uber Fixes Campus Dilemma
North Shore Community College and Uber have launched an innovative partnership to offer students reduced-fare rides to the college’s suburban campus in Danvers, Massachusetts. The ride-hailing company said the partnership is the first of its kind.
NSCC expects to pay $40,000 for the one-year pilot program that reduces fares for the college’s 7,000 students. The public two-year school contributes $10 toward every ride a student takes between the campus and nearby transit hubs. Students riding to and from the closest hub at the Liberty Tree Mall now pay a reduced fare of about $3 each way.
“We know there are students… who would seek an education if they could get to our Danvers campus, which is where all our popular allied health programs are offered,” said Patricia A. Gentile, NSCC president.
(bostonglobe.com, northshore.edu, beverly.wickedlocal.com, wgbh.org)
Ride-Sharing Becoming Very Popular
During the World Mobility Leadership Forum in Detroit last month, a featured speaker from Dubai talked about the popularity of ride-sharing in his market. The two-day program featured numerous top level executives and officials, including the chairman of Ford Motor Company, CEOs of General Motors and the Volvo Car Group and the governor of Michigan.
“You’re creating it for the first time. In our world, you don’t need the buses and the trains. You need the car to come pick you up,” said .Mudassir Sheikha (see photo), co-founder and managing director of Careem, the area’s leading chauffeur-driven car service.
He was not alone. One blogger reported that speakers presented ride-sharing as an “exploding” trend with no sign of reversing. “The experts predict that it will continue to grow fast – far beyond Millennials taking Uber to the bars in big cities,” wrote Matt Friedman, co-founder of Tanner Friedman, a Detroit-based communications firm.
Careem is in 27 cities throughout the Middle East and South Africa. The company has 40,000 drivers and more than two million registered users.
(worldmobilityleadershipforum.com, tannerfriedman.com, careem.com, arabianbusiness.com, forbes.com, photos from the forum’s website)
Thailand Pursues Monorail
The Thai Council of Ministers officially approved the Bangkok Golden Line last month. The 2.68 km monorail will run on an elevated track in Western Bangkok.
Thailand is developing the monorail project in two phases, starting with a 1.72 km line from the Krung Thon Buri Skytrain station to Taksin Hospital. A second phase will extend 0.96 km from Taksin Hospital to Wat Anongkaram.
The Golden Line will use a fully automated, driverless transit system with vehicles automatically guided along a ‘guideway.’ Each train will have three cars and each car will transport 80–100 passengers. Officials forecast that the line will transport 47,000 patrons per day after phase one has been developed in 2018 and 81,000 patrons daily after phase two has been completed in 2023
Over eight million people live in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.
(pattayamail.com, raillynews.com, photo by Railly News)
American drivers spent 4.8 billion hours stuck in traffic in 2010. This equals nearly one full work week for every traveler on our roadways each year. (Source: Texas A&M Transportation Institute, which has office locations in the cities flagged in the displayed Texas map)
‘Til Next Time…
Jim Wilson, BWAT General Manager
About Blue Water Wave… 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. We welcome your comments.