Saturday, December 31, 2016

#freetransit becoming popular as a way to reduce drunk driving

Need a sober ride home on New Year's Eve? Public transportation is free - "But revelers who hit it too hard don’t have to risk getting a ticket and the hefty fines that come with a DWI. On Thursday, representatives from the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments, the Hennepin County and Ramsey County sheriff’s offices and the Minnesota State Patrol teamed up to encourage celebrants to use free public transportation for a safe ride home."

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Indianapolis victory for mass transit

indystar : "Proponents of a public transit ballot referendum to increase bus service in Indianapolis declared victory Tuesday night, hailing the income tax hike approved by voters as a long-term solution for the city's transportation woes and a benefit to workers and employers, alike.

"Today our city has taken a monumental step toward improving talent retention, enhancing economic development and growing our tax base," said Mark Fisher, vice president of government relations and policy development of the Indy Chamber."

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

#letusbreathe activist: Make #publictransit #farefree for Chicago Public School students

Chicago Reader: "Still, Ware argues that this issue could be avoided if the CTA just gave free fare to CPS students. The cost of transit can be significant for these students, Ware says. Even the reduced CPS fare can total a few hundred dollars a school year, and it's not uncommon for students to ask him to tap his Ventra card to get them into the system, he says."

Friday, October 21, 2016

Poor and sick suffer most in US #autosprawl meltdown

Delays in Payments From the State of Illinois Cause Transit Shutdowns: "Illinois Public Transportation Association Executive Director Laura Calderon said, “The public transportation systems across the state provide critical services to some of the state’s most vulnerable populations. Downstate particularly, the bulk of the riders are elderly, persons with disabilities and the low income population, who are relying on public transportation to get them to work, medical appointments and other critical services. The impact service reductions and shutdowns will have on the economy in Illinois is significant. A large part of the state’s workforce relies on transit to get to and from their jobs. Illinois cannot afford for transit systems to be shut down.”"

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

More pain for the poor and sick as #autosprawl dream crumbles

State funding backlog hits public transportation systems: ""Public transportation is the biggest component to keeping our community well-rounded and mobile, and if steps are not taken, it could be detrimental to folks that rely on it, and that is a very scary thing," she said.

Whether they use the service to take them to dialysis treatment three times a week or commute to work or school, cutting services or shutting down would have an immensely adverse impact to passengers, she said."

Saturday, October 15, 2016

StarTran offering free bus rides through November "Because the bus services are already free for UNL students with bus passes, the free rides don’t affect students as much as non-students. Prauner said he hopes the free rides can help encourage more non-students to ride buses.

Students who were aware of the free bus rides noticed an increase in passengers."

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sprawled-out America finding transportation to be a problem "“There is general support for public transportation,” she said. “People want it to be accessible, they want it to meet the needs of employers, they want connectivity to major activity areas, they want it affordable and they want it convenient.”

Donahue made her observations while presenting a progress report on a $125,000 study that is being financed by the Nebraska Department of Roads, Sarpy County and all five of the county’s cities.

The study is being conducted by Olsson Associates in partnership with the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency."

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Freeport Mayor's View: Pretzel City Area Transit expanding its reach

Freeport Mayor's View: Pretzel City Area Transit expanding its reach: "Recently, Pretzel City has taken on a new dimension – providing transportation to and from work on a contract basis. For three months now, United Way has had a service contract with the city and senior center to provide transportation to and from Berner Food & Beverage through a partnership known as the E.A.R.N Initiative, or Employment Access Ridership Network. This partnership rose out of Berner’s need for a reliable transportation alternative for employees in order to help reduce absenteeism and lost productivity at the Alfokey plant. This issue was of special importance given Berner’s $70 million expansion, which would add up to another 200 workers. We tend to think that everyone has an automobile in Freeport, but the truth is otherwise. A growing number of residents either walk, bicycle or use public transportation to get where needed. E.A.R.N. provides a reliable means to get to work and back."

Monday, September 19, 2016

The importance of public transportation

Indiana Daily Student: "Even so, buses signify a move toward reducing the effects of individual vehicles zooming around and creating traffic jams. For both environmental and cultural considerations, the U.S. as a whole needs to shift towards improving its public transportation infrastructure.

Sprawling public transportation systems are not always practical for small, dispersed cities, but even some larger metropolises have minimal infrastructure.

Indianapolis is one of a few major cities that lack a central system of public transport.

It might not hurt to put a bug in your representative’s ear, so to speak, about investing in public transit."

Saturday, September 17, 2016

No "silver bullet" to fix #publictransit? Only if you continue subsidizing autos

KSMU Radio: "The Task Force created two goal categories, Legislative Priorities and Transportation Champion, noting there’s no “silver bullet” to fix all the transportation problems in the region."

Friday, September 2, 2016

Like Wisconsin, oil trolls have conquered Minnesota

Is this any way to build a transportation system? | NewsCut | Minnesota Public Radio News: "The Legislature, still dominated in the House by non-metro lawmakers, hates light rail, so it stymied attempts to fund Southwest light rail. Negotiations between Republicans and the governor collapsed, requiring the end-around in which counties fund the projects."

Friday, August 26, 2016

CTA president wants more money for all public transportation "Mr. Carter said parts of Chicago's transit system date back to the 1800s when Grover Cleveland was president. It's the nation's second largest system, providing more than a half billion rides annually in Chicago and 35 suburbs."

Friday, August 19, 2016

"only so many dollars for transportation" - true, so why waste so much on cars? "“There are only so many dollars that can be spent on transportation within this region between now and 2040 and we need to make sure that we’re selecting the right projects so that we can meet the needs of the region,” he said."
This is what is wrong with the framing of transportation funding. Cars are assumed to be paid for. Public transit is an "expense." Actually the opposite is true. Cars are bleeding government budgets dry with all their costs. Public transit actually reduces car miles and thus car costs -- it actually pays for itself.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

#Freetransit for Rapid City students "low-hanging fruit"

blackhillsfox : "Allender has proposed amending the RapidRide Transit rates to be free for students in Rapid City.
He says the city has a low graduation rate and low attendance rate and believes this proposal would either provide students better access to school or eliminate one more excuse for why students aren't making it to their seats.

Allender says, "This public transportation change is one thing that I consider to be low hanging fruit, an easy, relatively inexpensive change to an existing system, which will give better access to people who need it.""

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Poor workers pay to subsidize sprawl, but get no benefit

Chicago Reporter: "Roseland resident Eric Drane is familiar with that long haul. Drane, 39, commutes 40 miles to a Romeoville electronics distribution warehouse where he drives a forklift. Unlike Davis, who depends on public transportation, Drane, a married father of four, can at least drive to work. But he says he’d rather take public transit – if it was available.

“It’s murder on your car going from here, putting 30 to 40 miles every day on an older vehicle,” said Drane, who drives a 1998 Buick that has 200,000 miles on it.  “I’m like one car breakdown from not having a job myself.”"

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."