Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Save the planet: Take public transit now and then

Chicago Tribune: "The case for better public transit goes beyond fighting climate change. It helps the unemployed find jobs; it saves commuters valuable time; it makes cities cleaner, quieter and less congested. But its value as an effective and available way to fight climate change gets too little attention. Pending zero-emission cars and espresso-vending power plants, getting more Americans on to public transportation makes sense."

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Getting On Board: My Conversion to Supporting Mass Transit

Inside INdiana Business: "Those observations took me back to my days in Madison. Without metro transit getting me to and from school, what were my options? And that was simply to attend classes. What about those who need transportation for their livelihoods to get to and from their jobs – jobs that pay for the basic necessities? Better transportation options allow them to shop at retailers or eat at restaurants that are desired versus convenient. It provides the means to make appointments and meetings, visit libraries and parks, and participate in civic activities. Mass transit makes it possible for not a majority but many to do the simple, everyday things that make Central Indiana a better place for them to live and work.

I may not use public transportation, but others who live, work and play in this community will. My coworker who doesn’t like to drive; the friend for whom “being green” means being happy; the barista at the too-far-to-drive coffee place who now has a reliable way to get to work. Mass transit will allow all of them to live, work and play better. Doesn’t anything that makes those in our community live fuller lives also make this same community a better place for all of us to live?"

Friday, April 29, 2016

Baby-steps, but important ones, toward #publictransit in #sprawlurbia

The Ball State Daily :: Does Muncie need more public transportation options?: "“If we made trains look cool, if we made mass transit look like something that is cutting-edge or part of not only to address socioeconomic issues but also business development, it would address some of the Republican concerns and their opposition,” he said. “Until the public decides that it is something to be supported, by whatever measures, it’s going to sort of be in limbo.”

Marta Moody, executive director for the Delaware-Muncie Metropolitan Plan Commission, does federal transportation planning for all modes of transportation.

She said public transportation is important — much more than people realize. 

“Public transportation is as much a quality of life issue as your bike lanes, as your sidewalks and as your parks," Moody said. "It is a community amenity.”"

Saturday, April 9, 2016

People in Oklahoma beg for #publictransit to continue "Smith said it would be devastating not to have the service.

"It would be great if we could expand the services. I would be all for that. I remember years ago when they used to run till 10 o'clock at night. I miss the Saturday dispatcher, but I understand how those things have happened, and they're cost-saving measures and it's worked out.

"At the bare minimum, if we can at least keep what we have now, that's fabulous. Just please, please, I implore all of you, not to ever do away with the Enid Transit because it will have devastating consequences in so many of our lives. We appreciate that you do have the service available for us, and just want it to continue.""

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Hearing speakers express support for public transportation : "Elda Jones said she has used Enid Transit for eight or nine years, after moving from Alva because there was public transportation available in Enid. She uses the service two to three times a week.

As a volunteer at Loaves & Fishes of Northwest Oklahoma, Jones sees others using the service as well. 

"To see the clients coming in and shopping and going home, they have to take public transportation. There's no other way, and the food is necessary, they've got to have the food," she said. "I know that the public transportation is not making money, but it's not there. It's for a public service." 

Several users of Enid Transit expressed a desire to have the service expanded beyond the 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. hours offered Monday through Saturday.

Among them, Diana Smith said she is a legally blind resident of Enid.

"Without the Enid Transit, I could not go to work every day," she said."

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Poor #publictransit traps abuse victims in their homes

The Grand Island Independent: "Crisis Center Executive Director LexAnn Roach said the lack of transportation can even mean domestic violence and sexual assault survivors stay with or stay in contact with an abuser.
“Without their jobs or without the means to get their children to school or to attain other needed services, they have no hope of having an independent life away from that abuser,” she said.
Grand Island attorney Ron Depue, who formerly chaired the United Way board and its fundraising campaign, said now that Grand Island has reached metropolitan status due to population growth, the bar is higher for the services that need to be provided.
“As a community, I think we’ve fallen short of accepting responsibility to provide effective public transit,” he said."

Tourism exec in Minneapolis proposes #freetransit for all

Star Tribune: "Thus, I propose making all public transportation free for residents and visitors.

Tallinn, Estonia, a city with a population slightly larger than that of Minneapolis, already has successfully done it, though its free transportation is available only to city residents. We would need to offer free public transportation to everyone in order to create a notably unique, destination-defining enticement that people would mention in the same breath as Mall of America and niceness when discussing travel to the Twin Cities.

Furthermore, making public transportation free would reduce traffic, if only somewhat in the short-term, and give struggling families better access to jobs and other resources. It’s a public-relations trifecta. Of course, people aren’t going to book vacations exclusively based on the allure of free transportation like they would Disney World. But combined with the current surge of our profile as an outstanding and affordable place to visit and live, it could help boost us into the travel planning echelons of San Francisco and New York."

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Portage, Indiana, not walkable "Matt Chandler, who is blind, said Portage isn't set up for people to walk from their houses to stores."

Monday, March 14, 2016

Missouri funding for #publictransit less than 10 cents per person

Kearney Courier: ""Each year, more than 77 million rides are provided by Missouri transit providers in both urban and rural areas. In addition, thousands of people are employed. OATS alone employs over 700 people throughout its 87-county service region," an OATS release states.
Despite the value transit brings to Missouri in both jobs and service, Missouri’s investment in public transportation has been declining since 2000, the release states.
“Just last year we talked about how Missouri ranks 40th nationally when it comes to the annual per capita investment with only 50 cents per person being invested in transportation,” said OATS Executive Director Dorothy Yeager. “Now the 2013 numbers have been released and we are down to just 9 cents – not even a dime per person is spent on transportation,” added Yeager.
OATS is headquartered in Columbia, with seven regional offices and four satellite offices across the state. OATS, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation providing specialized transportation for senior citizens, people with disabilities and the rural general public in 87 Missouri counties.
Last year, OATS provided 1.5 million rides to more than 26,700 Missourians covering 13 million miles."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Bismarck, SD, more #publictransit needed : “Changes will be coming to the transit system,” Rickert said.

These changes are unlikely to include hoverboards, teleportation or floating cars, as many futuristic movies like to depict public transportation. Rather, Rickert says that the most realistic change movies predict are self-operated cars.

“Cars that utilize GPS and proximity sensors to shuttle the passenger to their destination, without any input other than an address, are already being developed,” Rickert said. “Of course, it is much less expensive to just ride the bus.”

photo from

Cruelty of car-culture in Iowa

The Gazette: "As a Housing Coordinator for The Domestic Violence Intervention Program, the first question I ask a client is, “Do you have transportation?” If the answer “yes”, there are options available to them that people without transportation do not have. Unfortunately, for most of our clients, the answer is “No”. The Metropolitan Planning Organization of Johnson County’s Passenger Transportation Development Plan for 2015-2019 reported that “ … the most common issue facing human services programs is the lack of public transit service options to meet their [client’s] needs …. their clients spend too much time on bus routes”.
In the United States, “Only one quarter-25%- of low skill to mid skill jobs, (and 1/3 of high skilled jobs) are available to metropolitan commuters within 90 minutes via transit” (Tomer, Kneebone, Puentes, & Berube, 2011). This means there aren’t too many jobs to be had if public transit is one’s only option. Many victims of domestic violence have lost jobs or have been unable to accept a job offer simply because of a lack of reliable public transportation. This can be especially devastating to someone trying their best to rebuild their lives after escaping a violent home."

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

#Publictransit proven to spur economy but #autosprawl trolls are in charge

Columbia Missouri: Op-Ed: "That’s rather shortsighted, considering that according to the American Public Transit Association, for every dollar invested in transit projects there is a $4 return for the state. The positive impact of investment in our transit infrastructure can be seen statewide with the opening of the Kansas City Streetcar on May 6, the Loop Trolley in St. Louis under construction and OATS celebrating 45 years of service in our rural and urban communities."

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Transit supporters rally at the Statehouse "INDIANAPOLIS — Public transit supporters rallied at the Statehouse to celebrate Transit Day Thursday.

Indiana Citizen’s Alliance for Transit highlighted the outstanding public transit allies and presented Outstanding Transit Advocate Awards.

AARP Indiana Associate State Director for Community Outreach Mandla Moyo, right, received the Outstanding Transit Advocate Award of Community Organization. Photo by Gary Qi,
“From our discussions and what we have learned in this journey, transit has an very important value for the generations to follow us, and we need to pay attention,” said Christine Altman, commissioner of Hamilton County."

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Why I Am Probably Going to Send the Drunk Driver Who Killed My Parents a Christmas Card

The Stranger: "Car culture killed my parents just as much as any one person's choices did. They were sacrificed on the altar of far-flung communities where people drive 20 miles to party and 20 more miles to get home.
...According to the US Department of Transportation, more than 10,000 people die every year as the result of drunk driving. That's enough people to fill all the prisons in Gatesville, Texas, and staff half of them. A city of ghost prisons."

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Transit riders like convenience, but would prefer greater reliability, cleanliness

usatoday : "People rode mass transit nearly 11 billion times a year because of cost-effectiveness, convenience and because they dislike driving, according to a national survey Thursday obtained by USA TODAY."

Saturday, September 5, 2015

East Central Indiana needs more public transportation options

starpress : "Transit investments get workers to jobs and help get customers to cash registers. Good public transportation benefits all of us whether we are young, whether we are senior citizens or whether we are in our middle years. It is vital for those who have a disability as well as for those who do not drive for any reason."

Benefits of #publictransit are many and are material

Suntimes letters: "However, neither the Editorial Board nor Mr. Dillard notes the environmental benefits of expanding mass transit. According to the American Public Transportation Association, when a commuter with a 20-mile commute switches from driving to public transportation, he or she reduces carbon emissions by 4,800 pounds a year. What’s more, households relying on public transportation instead of cars save $6,251 in annual fuel costs.

We should increase Illinois’s highway tax to pay for extending the Red Line to 130th Street, extending the Blue Line to Yorktown, and building high-speed rail between the Loop and O’Hare. In addition, we should institute congestion pricing—that is, charge people for the privilege of driving downtown. Since 2003, London has done exactly that, charging commuters an average of $17.40 to enter the downtown zone. Since then, London has had a 34 percent drop in downtown drivers. The fee generate $300 million for mass transit every year. And the Brits have received an unexpected bonus–London has experienced a 40 percent decrease in the rate of car crashes."

'via Blog this'

Friday, September 4, 2015

US spending $9m a day to bomb for oil, while 45% of Americans have no #publictransit

Congress must invest in public transportation - Chicago Tribune: "That’s why it’s so disappointing that roughly 45 percent of Americans don’t have access to any public transit.

Congress’ inaction means our entire transportation infrastructure is falling apart. Is this really the best Congress can do? Americans deserve better.

I urge our members of Congress to take the lead to make public transportation the priority it should be. This issue impacts us all."

Monday, August 31, 2015

An extra car in the family costs $12K/yr, #freetransit would be $100/yr. #freeischeaper

Traffic woes make public transportation essential - Chicago Tribune: "Public transportation saves riders time and money and continues to be vital to the economy of our region and our lives. Today, a two-person household can save more than $12,100 a year by downsizing to one car, significant in tough economic times."

Friday, August 21, 2015

Free buses on Wednesdays - Dodge City, KS

Daily Globe: "Dodge City Public Transit will offer free fixed route bus service D-Tran from Aug. 19 to Oct. 21 on Wednesdays.
"We've had a pretty good response so far to the new bus service," mobility manager Ernestor De La Rosa said. "In May we developed the fixed route service with three routes and 45 bus stops. Since then, it's been picking up. For May, we started with 175 rides in the fixed route. For the month of June, we had 873 rides. For July, we had 1,267 rides. We're getting really good feedback on it."
De La Rosa said D-Tran will offer the free service to give the community an opportunity to experience public transportation firsthand."

Friday, July 24, 2015

81 year-old still driving. Is this what we want?

Vehicle at Highway 7 and Vine Hill Road struck by 81-year-old Minnetonka man - Lakeshore Weekly News: Public Safety: "The vehicle hit had been first in line at the intersection at a red light, and the striking vehicle, driven by an 81-year-old Minnetonka man, was directly behind it. The man suddenly accelerated rapidly, striking the vehicle in front of him and pushing it into the intersection. The driver of the vehicle struck was braking, and smoke was visible from the tires. It then spun and ended up facing north in the west bound lanes of Highway 7."

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Indiana, Ball State Study, buses good for business

nwtimes : "Investing in bus systems may yield returns for workforce and employers, according to a new study from Ball State University."

Friday, June 12, 2015

Riecken lays plan for improved public transportation

Courier Press: "“By attracting more riders, the city will generate increased funding for transportation, reduce traffic congestion and cut greenhouse gas emissions,” she said. “Many of the fixes to the METS system are quick, easy and inexpensive.”

Riecken’s administration would focus on three things, she said: prioritizing the needs of working citizens and students; developing an improved service environment; and improve safety and provide better bus stops."

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Who wants to save $1,000 a month?

Chicago Business Journal: "But perhaps most important— at least from RTA users' perspective — is the Earth Day revelation that commuters who switch to public transit from driving can save almost $1,000 a month in commuting expense.
Now that's an Earth Day bit of news that is likely to get the public thinking about public transportation."

Monday, April 20, 2015

Maybe they leave your state because you insult them

Young adults are getting out of Minnesota | "Despite a diversified economy and low unemployment, and enough brew pubs, music venues and bike paths to be a hipster haven, Minnesota is losing young people."
Bike lanes and pubs are not enough to attract young people. Stop insulting them.

Minnesota governor wants more tax on gasoline, better #publictransit funding

The Political Animal: "“You’ve got to have a long term commitment,” he said. “This is about moving Minnesota forward.”

Dayton has said transportation is his major priority for the session, along with education.

He has proposed boosting funding for roads and bridges by levying a new 6.5-percent sales tax on gasoline at the wholesale level, which would raise prices 16.5 cents or more at the pump."