Earlier this week, Visa launched Visa Global Transit Solutions. Visa designed the new program to create a faster and more convenient experience for mass transit commuters worldwide. It accelerates the use of debit, credit and pre-paid accounts at the fare gate or on a bus reader.
“We want to make the transportation experience faster, easier and more secure whether someone is traveling by car, flying on holiday or taking public transportation to work,” said Michael Lemberger, head of products at Visa in Europe.
Visa’s Innovation Center in London will focus on the future of transportation as part of the new solutions program. The Center will investigate cutting-edge technologies to create new travel experiences.
Tampa Displays Driverless Shuttle
The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority participated in the Fifth Annual Florida Automated Vehicles Summit this week. There, HART displayed its new autonomous shuttle.
This will make Tampa one of the first places in the nation where driverless vehicles provide mass transit service. HART’s new shuttle will start offering free service to the public on a trial basis in January.
The shuttle will fill a gap in transit for people working in eastern downtown Tampa, according to Adrian Sussman, managing director, Manufacturer Coast Autonomous.
MCA loaded the shuttle with information about the Tampa environment. Sensors will enable the shuttle to get smarter over time. It will detect and react to pedestrians and other vehicles coming from any direction.
(Sources: tampabay.com, abcactionnews.com, favsummit.com)
LA Opens $2.5 Million Bike Hub
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority opened its biggest-ever bike hub at the historic Union Station on Wednesday.
The $2.5 million bicycle hub will offer bike racks and lockers to hold almost 200 bicycles. Metro also plans to have bike mechanics and an accessory store on site.
Officials hope that with the added storage and amenities, more commuters will bike to bus and rail connections at Union Station. They also hope the new hub will reduce the need for passengers to bring their bikes on board.
(Sources: metro.net, scpr.org)
Train to Use Fuel Cell Engine
Ballard Power Systems signed an agreement this month to develop a zero-emission fuel cell engine for Siemens AG. Ballard is based in Vancouver, Canada, and Siemens is based in Munich, Germany.
Ballard will develop a 200 kilowatt fuel cell engine for integration into Siemens’ new Mireo train platform. Mireo is a modular commuter train platform designed for speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
The Mireo will consume up to 25% less energy than trains with similar passenger capacity. The savings are due to its lightweight design, energy-efficient components and intelligent onboard network management. Ballard plans to deploy the Mireo train in 2021.
(Sources: ballard.com, greencarcongress.com)
BWAT General Manager