Blue Water Area Transit recognized Cathelyn “Cathy” Callendar as their 30 millionth rider. BWAT recognized Cathy during a ceremony on Tuesday, June 27, at the transit agency’s downtown bus transfer center.
Cathy is a frequent bus passenger. She depends on BWAT to travel around town and to commute from her Port Huron home to her job as a security guard.
Blue Water Area Due to a steady increase in ridership, BWAT took only eight years and two months to reach this most recent milestone of the last ten million riders. This is about half the time it took the agency to reach either the first or the second ten million rider milestone in 1993 and 2009 respectively.
“I just love riding the bus,” Cathy said. “I usually read the newspaper and enjoy not having the responsibility of driving.” She praised the new transfer center for making her travels more comfortable. “It’s warm in the winter and dry when it’s raining.”
Three BWAT officials awarded Cathy a one-year bus pass during the ceremony. They were (pictured, left to right): Jim Wilson, general manager, Linda Bruckner, Blue Water Area Transportation Commission Board chair and Fort Gratiot Township trustee, and Anita R. Ashford, Blue Water Area Transportation Commission Board vice chair and Port Huron mayor pro tem.
Token Ring To Make Paying Easier
By the end of the year, a new biometric ring will simplify the process of paying train and bus fares in select cities around the world. With it, riders can quickly tap on card readers to enter systems in US cities that include Chicago, Salt Lake City, Miami and Philadelphia.
The Token ring can also be programmed to pay with your credit cards, start your car and unlock your home.
Personal data will be kept secure by a fingerprint sensor on the inside of the ring that will confirm the authorized user.
Utah Runs “Electric Xpress”
Park City has rolled out the first zero-emission, battery-electric bus in Utah. The new electric bus starts the state’s transition to renewable energy and a reduced carbon footprint.
Park City will start operating the entire fleet of six Proterra buses this summer. It is the first mountain resort community in the United States to operate a highly efficient, battery-electric transit service.
Nicknamed the “Electric Xpress,” the free transit service will provide clean, quiet and efficient transportation to residents and tourists.
A launch event took place last week to celebrate the community’s commitment to sustainability and clean transportation.
(prnewswire.com, fox13now.com, proterra.com, photo from kpcw.org)
Nashville Explores Privatizing Airport
Nashville officials are exploring privatizing operations of their city-owned airport to help fund mass transit in Middle Tennessee..
The mayor’s office heard a presentation last month from representatives of Oaktree Capital Management. Oaktree has also made bids to run government-owned airports in other cities.
City officials hope that privatizing the Nashville International Airport will help them fund a $6 billion proposed transit system. Although there are no current deals on the table, chief operating officer Rich Riebeling estimated that a transaction could generate in the “low billions” for transit in Nashville.
Chicago Talks With Musk
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel has started talking with noted entrepreneur Elon Musk. They talked about developing an underground high-speed rail line between the Loop and O’Hare International Airport. Emanuel hopes to raise the city’s business profile.
Musk’s new venture is called The Boring Company. It recently started digging a tunnel they hope will run from Los Angeles International Airport all the way to Santa Monica.
Musk’s company claims to have developed a technology for drilling tunnels that can cut construction costs by 90 percent or more. They use a better drill and dig narrower tunnels.
Emanuel hopes to formally seek bidders on the project later this year.
BWAT General Manager