Albany, N.Y. transit honored for BRTMarch 29th, 2012
Albany, N.Y.-based Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) was honored by the American Public Works Association (APWA), Capital Branch as the recipient of the 2011 Project of the Year in Transportation – Transit Category award at their annual Awards luncheon.
The NY Route 5 Bus Rapid Transit project, the first project of its kind in upstate New York, was launched in April 2011. Known as BusPlus, this new limited stop service features cutting-edge technology including transit signal priority, real time passenger information displays, GIS-based mobile data communication, queue jumpers, CCTV surveillance and pylon signs that house electrical supply units connecting to the fiber optic network. BusPlus technology works to get customers information quicker, travel faster and have a safer riding experience.
Ridership along the corridor has increased 13% since the launch with customers now experiencing up to 25% travel time savings over local service. BusPlus service connects with about 30 other routes within the CDTA transportation network. BusPlus on NY Route 5 is the first part of 100 miles of BRT plan for the Capital Region. An alternative analysis is currently underway to extend BRT service to the Western and Washington Avenue corridors.
The project was a strong collaboration between CDTA, NYSDOT, City of Albany, City of Schenectady, town of Colonie and town of Niskayuna.
The NY Route 5 Bus Rapid Transit project also won the state award in the Transportation category. The project has also been submitted for the APWA National award.
The Impact of Cell Phones, Texting, Fatigue and Prescribed Medicines on Driver SafetyMarch 28th, 2012
On March 8, 2012 the Transit Training Institute, in conjunction with NYPTA and NYSDOT, invited transit professionals to participate in a timely safety webinar covering sources of driver distraction and how to limit them. Today, drivers’ concentration is compromised by electronic devices, fatigue, and medications, among many other avoidable disruptions like noisy passengers. This session enlightened attendees with the latest research on distracted driving and provided agencies with the methods and best practices to help prevent and reduce distractions. For more information about this webinar, visit the Transit Training Institute’s website.
Administrator Rogoff releases Dear Colleague letter announcing Online Distracted Driving Training CourseMarch 22nd, 2012
On March 22, 2012, Administrator Rogoff published a Dear Colleague letter to let transit professionals know that FTA developed a new on-line instructional course for transit workers about the dangers of distracted driving. He encourages the transit industry to make the course a part of their ongoing distracted driving program or fold it into existing employee safety and training curriculum.
The 30-minute course, “Curbing Transit Employee Distracted Driving,” was developed by FTA in conjunction with the Florida Department of Transportation. It’s an excellent tool to educate, inform, and increase awareness among all transit workers about the dangers and challenges associated with distracted driving.
To read the letter in its entirety and obtain a link to the course, click here.
Employing New Green PracticesMarch 15th, 2012
METRO Magazine – March 12, 2012 – It looks like fueling conversion is the way to go for many university transit systems to not only reduce their carbon footprint but noise pollution as well. We asked operators about any green practices they recently implemented.
To view responses, visit the METRO Magazine website.
FTA Holds Bus Safety and Security Program Orientation Seminar in LouisianaMarch 13th, 2012
On March 5, 2012, twenty-nine (29) representatives from 17 agencies attended FTA’s Bus Safety and Security Program Orientation Seminar in Houma, Louisiana co-sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD). Louisiana is the 23rd state to partner with FTA in holding a Bus Program Seminar.
The purpose of the Orientation Seminar is to provide a brief background and an overview of the Bus Safety and Security Program, details of the elements of bus safety and security excellence, a demonstration of the Bus Safety and Security Program website and a discussion about steps to take to implement the Program at their agency. After the seminar, 10 participants registered as new users to the website, giving them instant access to over 1,300 resources and a self-assessment tool to help them measure their program’s strength.
LaDOTD worked with FTA’s project team to conduct the one-day, free event and sent invitations to bus transit providers throughout the state, ensuring excellent attendance. At the conclusion of the seminar, attendees provided feedback on the event, which was positive and enthusiastic with an average rating from formal participant evaluations being 4.86 out of a possible 5. A few comments made by attendees:
“The information was very helpful in improving in areas of safety and security where our agency needed improving. Plus we will use the resources on the website to improve our safety plan, safety committee, security plan, operational budgets, and documentation of everything to put policies in place”.
“The information is very relative to transit agencies. This should be disseminated to all transit properties”.
“I would like to have more members of my staff receive this training”.
“Great presentation and illustrations. Most topics can be applied to everyday situations”.
Feedback on all Orientation Seminars held to-date can be viewed here.
Small Transit Grants from FTA Make a Big DifferenceMarch 10th, 2012
No matter where we live, access to jobs, groceries, health care, education and other destinations is important to all of us. And when policymakers think about how people in small towns and rural communities get around it’s all too easy to imagine that everyone is able to travel in cars on smooth, un-crowded roads. But rural communities and small towns have higher concentrations of older adults and low-income citizens, two populations that are less likely to own cars or drive.
If we limit their transportation options to personal automobiles, we risk isolating vulnerable Americans from the community–and from the economy.
That’s why the Federal Transit Administration makes sure that communities of all shapes and sizes have access to critical programs like the Bus and Bus Facilities initiative, State of Good Repair grants, and Alternatives Analysis. Today, from South Carolina to South Dakota and Arkansas to Wisconsin, these programs are making a big difference.
To read the full article from Fast Lane, click here.
17 Transit Systems Given TSA ‘Gold Standard’ RatingMarch 9th, 2012
The Transportation Security Administration is recognizing 17 rail and mass transit agencies from across the nation that earned TSA’s highest rating of “Gold Standard” on the agency’s most recent Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE).
The BASE program is designed to establish a security standard for individual system security programs and assess progress. This voluntary comprehensive review of transit agency security programs focuses on multiple categories identified by the transit community as fundamentals for a sound transit security program.
They include a review of topics such as an agency’s security plans, security training, drills/exercise programs, public outreach efforts and background check programs. The BASE assessment analyzes the security program for each transit system and identifies vulnerabilities that are addressed.<p> The agencies recognized for achieving the Gold Standard in 2011 are:
Amtrak, Bi-State Development Agency (MetroLink) in St. Louis, Central Ohio Transit Authority, Denver Regional Transportation District, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, Indianapolis and Marion County Public Transportation, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, North County Transit District, Pierce County Transportation Benefit Area Authority, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Spokane Transit Authority and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Only six other agencies have achieved this level of distinction and were recognized for 2010.
To read the full article published in Metro Magazine, click here.
Urban and Rural Transit, Different Yet SimilarMarch 9th, 2012
Public transit in rural and small urban areas is provided primarily to those groups who are dependent on this form of transportation, such as the elderly and disabled. Public transit includes buses, commuter rail, demand response services, light rail and vanpools. This service is primarily local in nature. National RTAP and its partner organizations, the Federal Transit Administration and the National Tribal Transit Association, will sponsor a national conference on March 18 to 21, 2012 at the Radisson, Fort McDowell Hotel near Scottsdale, Arizona. Unique issues facing rural and small urban properties will be discussed.
To read this full article published in Metro Magazine, click here.
RoadmapMarch 9th, 2012
Read the latest version of the Roadmap to Excellence!
Safety and Security Voluntary Onsite Review: Terrebonne ARCMarch 6th, 2012