SWTA made its fourth visit to Washington, DC, to share good news stories with members of Congress about the excellent transit work being done in the SWTA Nation! I try to target different areas of the region, keeping a balance between Senate and House as well as sections of the region. The choice of who I visit is typically because there is targeted messaging or because a SWTA member has requested a visit or shared a story with us.
Make December 1st National Free Ride Day! Join Topeka Metro for their “We All Ride Together” campaign.
Proterra, electric bus manufacturer, brought the future of transportation to Topeka Metro, on Tuesday, October 24th. The bus ran on Route #21 at 6:45 a.m. & 7:45 a.m. Following this, the bus was staged at Quincy Street Station from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
BIG CABIN, Okla. , October 23, 2017 (Veterans’ Ride Connect) — What began as a mission to provide safe and reliable transportation to enhance the quality of life of the more than 118,000 veterans living in northeast Oklahoma has now become a ground-breaking agency that is realizing that goal on a daily basis.
With on-demand transportation services growing, cities need to adapt. Some are doing just that.
Read stories from across the SWTA Nation detailing how transit agencies outside of the affected area are mobilizing to fill needs.
Lewisville, TX (September 5, 2017) – On Monday, September 18, the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) will launch Transit Tracker – its new vehicle tracking system that will provide passengers with access to real-time information for the DCTA A-train, fixed-route bus and shuttle services. Passengers will be able to track agency vehicles via phone, online, text and free mobile application. DCTA’s Transit Tracker will replace the agency’s current Where’s My Ride tracking tool.
Starting this weekend, Capital Metro will add increased service to and from the mega shelter for Hurricane Harvey evacuees. The agency installed a temporary bus stop at the MetCenter in Southeast Austin, and will increase frequency of Route 228 to serve the shelter location.
K. Jane Williams has been appointed Deputy Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Williams will help lead the agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that funds public transportation systems across the country and oversees their safety.
VIA Metropolitan Transit announced Tuesday it will continue to provide free public transportation to Hurricane Harvey evacuees who are in emergency shelters in San Antonio and Bexar County. Passengers are asked to show their shelter-issued wrist band in order to access the free service and may travel anywhere within VIA’s service area.
VIA President and CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt was recently named one of the best CEOs in the region by the San Antonio Business Journal.
For the first time in its 50-year history, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a landmark study on speeding aimed at reducing speeding-related injuries and fatalities. The report acknowledges that speed is a deadly problem on our streets and roads, and that other federal agencies and states can do more to address it.
South West Transit Association Announces 30th Anniversary Spotlight Award Winners for Transit Marketing Excellence
Salina, Kansas – A new regional fixed route bus service will be in operation in early September 2017 for north central Kansas.
The Kansas Rides 81 Connection will serve Highway 81 locations from Belleville to Salina with a tentative start date of September 5, 2017.
PHOENIX, AZ — Valley Metro continues to receive recognition for its leadership in the transit industry as it grows to connect more communities and people to opportunities. Valley Metro received three prestigious awards over the summer.
EMBARK’s Board of Trustees awarded a contract Friday with Herzog Transit Services, Inc. for the start-up, operation and maintenance of the seven-vehicle Oklahoma City Streetcar system that’s expected to begin passenger service in late 2018. The $131 million MAPS 3 project started construction in January.
Standing on the curb in Brooklyn, New York with 20 other Suits trying to get to LaGuardia airport, can be a lesson in adaptive survival.
After 15 years of service in Lawton Area Transit System (LATS) is looking to give back to its employees and the community.
The North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD) has been awarded $1.02 million dollars from the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) for its ADA Transition Plan under the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) to modify RTD bus stops and facilities to bring them into ADA compliance.
The Capital Area Rural Transportation System will celebrate Earth Day 2017 by offering Free Rides on all CARTS services Friday, April 21st.
VIA’s new buses are red on the outside and ‘green’ on the inside
EMBARK is making SmartMoves by adding compressed natural gas buses to the fleet and encouraging the public to take steps to reduce emissions.
Hub location could reduce travel time, increase access to health care
VIA Metropolitan Transit’s new mobile app will change the game for riders by putting convenient planning and purchasing power in the palm of their hand.
DART is one of many public transit agencies that has projects in the federal funding pipeline. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives wanted to know how Capital Investment Grants (CIG) will advance these transit projects.
South West Transit Association (SWTA) honored U.S. Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) with the organization’s 2017 Legislator of the Year Award. Even on a cold snowy morning more than 50 transit leaders from across SWTA’s eight-state region braved winter storm Stella to attended the ceremony and breakfast.
Launch Coincides with National Safe Place Week: Starting today, the North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD), RTD “Blue Buses,” will provide northern New Mexico victimized youth with a fleet of safe places to help connect them to life-changing resources through its participation in the national “Safe Place” program and in partnership with Taos-based DreamTree Project.
Congratulation! Terry Solis, former SWTA Board member, earns the prestigious COMTO Women Leaders in Public Transportation Award for Advocacy. Terry has been a wonderful advocate for public transportation and an enthusiastic partner/promoter of SWTA. We are thrilled that others have honored her efforts!
All buses in the region will run on CNG within 5 years
In honor of the National Transit Driver Appreciation Day on March 18, Valley Metro has produced the following feature to spotlight their hard-working operators and maintainers. They will be featuring them with posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram March 12-18.
The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) has finalized an agreement with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton to open a new park and ride location at the hospital for the North Texas Xpress service. The new Denton Park and Ride location will open to the general public Monday, March 6.
One common barrier to taking transit in Central Texas is the misconception that “people like me don’t ride.” To counteract this perception, Capital Metro, the Austin area’s transit agency, recently teamed up with some of the city’s most talented photographers and filmmakers to bring the stories and transit experiences of some of its riders to life. Over the past year, the 15 artists interviewed and captured on film riders on board buses and trains, and at stops and stations. Some of the artists were driven by the distinctive characters they encountered, others by conversations that led to compelling stories.
We informed the SWTA Nation two weeks ago that Jess Broussard, USSC and friend of the SWTA Nation, suffered critical injuries in a car accident in Houston. On Wedesday afternoon, January 25, Jesse’s family informed us that he passed away peacefully. The family has released the following information so that all can help honor Jesse’s life.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that a new report on the state of America’s transportation infrastructure, “2015 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges and Transit: Conditions and Performance,” confirms that more investment is needed not only to maintain the nation’s highway and transit systems but to overcome a nearly trillion-dollar investment backlog.
Crews were on scene of a bus fire and explosion at Ozark Regional Transit in Springdale, AR.
Every semester, area students can save money, study for class, and surf the web with a $38 VIA Semester Pass. The convenience and savings are now available to students enrolled in area trade schools.
Sign-up for future webinars.
Access to past webinars.
Oklahoma City’s progress with public transit has attracted new investment in compressed natural gas (CNG). The Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) announced that EMBARK will receive nearly $2 million to purchase new CNG buses.
SAN ANTONIO (Texas) — The average driver would take more than 80 years to accumulate a million miles of driving. A VIA bus operator can do it in about 12 ½ years.
Ken was a good friend to SWTA, transportation, and specifically transit. He loved his job and servin
GONE WEST: Ken Montoya, the irrepressible legislative director for Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), passed away earlier this week after a short battle with cancer.
Lawton Public Schools will be starting a new bus program for its secondary students in January.
The City Council, acting in its capacity as the City Transit Trust, agreed this week to a program that already had won approval from the Lawton Board of Education in early November: allowing the school district’s secondary students to use their student identification cards as a pass to give them free rides on any fixed route bus operated by the Lawton Area Transit System (LATS). The program will begin when school resumes in January for the spring semester.
Today, the Valley Metro RPTA and Valley Metro Rail Boards of Directors took action to finalize an employment agreement with Scott Smith that will transition his service to CEO.
When Jeff Meilbeck was in sixth grade, he went to the top floor of his Chicago middle school and looked out the window. “I remember closing my eyes and saying, When I open my eyes, those [buildings] are going to be mountains,” Jeff recalls. We are sitting in his office at the Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (NAIPTA), in Flagstaff, where he is CEO and General Manager.
SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 18, 2016) – VIA Metropolitan Transit will join the community in celebrating the start of holiday season and supporting “Small Business Saturday” with complimentary rides on all three VIVA routes, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 26-27, 2016.
SWTA introduces the three main components of the OVIPT Program. Click here to find out more!
The City of San Antonio Office of Sustainability recently recognized VIA Metropolitan Transit with an SA Tomorrow Sustainability Award at the San Antonio Sustainability Summit. VIA received the award for VIA Villa: Centro Plaza in the Commercial Project category.
This could be a record year for transportation ballot proposals, because local politicians and voters have realized that Congress is not coming to rescue America’s aging bridges, roads and transit systems. On Nov. 8, there will be about 45 ballot proposals across the country that could raise nearly$200 billion for transportation improvements.
As a reminder that breast cancer can be defeated, KCATA has unveiled a special pink bus dedicated to raising awareness of the deadly disease.
DART created these advertisements to be used for National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
VIA Metropolitan Transit’s Board Chair Hope Andrade was recently awarded the 2016 Russell H. Perry Award at the 90th Annual Transportation Short Course in College Station. This award, co-sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), and the Texas Good Roads Transportation Association, recognizes individuals for their significant contribution to the field of transportation. Honorees are selected based on their leadership in advocating and gaining awareness for the need for, and benefits of, transportation facilities in the State of Texas.
You could call it a movement. The debut of VIA Metropolitan Transit’s new “Ride & Read” regional initiative has given new momentum to literacy efforts in Bexar County while enhancing the area’s transit experience. The program, a partnership between VIA and the county’s BiblioTech e-library, provides the traveling public free access to the nation’s first all-digital public library with more than 40,000 downloadable titles.
The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) announced a new partnership with Uber, one of the country’s leading ride-sharing services, in an effort to provide more transit options for those traveling within Highland Village. As part of the new pilot program, those traveling within the specified Highland Village Zone will receive a $2 discount for Uber rides.
Valley Metro, the regional provider of bus, rail, vanpool and Dial-a-Ride services, received a $1 million Mobility on Demand (MOD) project grant from the Federal Transit Administration to develop a mobile app that will integrate mobile ticketing and multi-modal trip planning information. The agency is partnering with RouteMatch Software, transit industry technology provider, as well as Arizona State University (ASU), Lyft and the City of Phoenix Public Transit Department to create the passenger-based app.
Two individuals were honored at the 1st annual STAR Transit Employee Appreciation Dinner. Eleanor Luttrell was announced as the 2016 Driver of the Year and Richard Powe was announced as the 2016 Employee of the Year.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers announced three Administrator’s Awards for Outstanding Public Transportation Service in Rural Public Transportation. The announcement was made at the 22nd National Rural and Intercity Bus Conference in Asheville, NC.
FTA sent the following regarding technical assistance on TAM final rule implementation and a clarification on rule requirements.
The Discount Ride app allows Total Transit, the parent company of Arizona’s Discount Cab, to more closely compete with rideshare companies Uber and Lyft on price, while maintaining its focus on safety through extensive background checks, drug testing and training for its drivers.
Total Transit plans to contract with up to 2,000 drivers for the program in Phoenix and Tucson in the next year.
William “Bill” Deville, who has served as CATS interim CEO, was voted by the board to the permanent position Tuesday, September 20.
The South West Transit Association (SWTA) announced its 27TH Annual Spotlight Award winners during the Transit Marketing Workshop held at Hilton Baton Rouge Capital Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The SPOTLIGHT Award is the oldest transit marketing and advertising award given in the United States and is awarded for excellence in a total transit marketing campaign with a “biggest-bang-for-the-buck” emphasis.
Transitioning Youth with Disabilities Webinar with Judy Shanley, Co-Director, NCMM, Hilda Montoemayor, Mgr ADA Compliance & Paratransit and Brandy Arojo, Mobility Coordinator, Houston METRO.
The cameras have gone, the news media is silent - Yet, the people in the Parishes surrounding Baton Rouge are still recovering from recent flooding and our SISTER PROPERTY - Baton Rouge Capital Area Transit System (CATS) is in great need of 15 loaner vehicles.
Tolar Manufacturing Company announced today that it has been awarded a multi-year contract to design and supply transit shelters and advertising benches for the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS). Under these contracts 600 shelters and 1,800+ benches are being produced over the next five years and will be installed in communities within the MTS service area.
The former Secretary of Transportation, whose parents were first-generation Japanese immigrants known as issei, is telling me the story of his family’s internment. We are sitting at the kitchen table in his home in Edgewater, Maryland. Talking about the searchlights he waves his hand over the table back and forth, as if petting an imaginary cat. “To this day I still think about that,” he says, looking out the window to the South River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.
VIA Metropolitan Transit’s sustainable business practices have been held up as a model for environmental stewardship in transit.
Oklahoma City— EMBARK unveiled Bermuda Green, Clear Sky Blue and Redbud as the colors for the brand identity of the MAPS 3’s Oklahoma City Streetcar. Three color palettes were revealed to show each of the six streetcars painted with a saturated, tonal color palette
First Transit Wins First Rail Contract in North America with the Denton County Transportation Author
First Transit announces that it signed its first rail contract in North America to provide operations and maintenance services for the Denton County Transportation Authority’s (DCTA) A-train commuter rail line. First Transit is a division of FirstGroup, one of the most experienced rail operators in the United Kingdom.
A Tribal Transportation Program Safety Fund (TTPSF) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for was published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2016. Federally recognized tribes may apply to this grant until September 16, 2016.
Bryan Mistele, CEO of INRIX, a traffic-information and connected-car company based in Kirkland, has penned a ludicrous non-sequitur in the Seattle Times, arguing that the driverless car of the future will make transit obsolete, and, oh yeah, eliminate traffic congestion.
OKLAHOMA CITY – EMBARK announced that its properties will be tobacco-free beginning August 1. The policy includes all tobacco products: cigarettes, vaping or e-cigarette devices and chewing tobacco. Tobacco will be prohibited at all of EMBARK’s transit stops, shelters, parking facilities, ferry landings, transit facilities and vehicles.
In light of the tragic loss of lives in our nation over the last year and with recent events, TriMet will observed a moment of silence at 12 P.M. today, Friday, July 8. They asked all of their buses and trains to stop for one minute in quiet reflection of these tragic events that unfolded.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that, in accordance with a proclamation from President Barack Obama, U.S. and state flags in Connecticut should be lowered to half-staff effective immediately to honor the victims of last night’s attack in Dallas, Texas.
On Thursday, July 7, 2016, DART police officer, Brent Thompson was shot and killed by snipers during a protest in downtown Dallas. The following was posted on the DART.org website, Friday, July 8.
Uniquely colorful buses, described as the peacock of the VIA Metropolitan Transit fleet, began rolling on June 6, delivering passengers to some of the most-visited sites in San Antonio, in Texas, and in the world.
LEWISVILLE, TX (June 8, 2016) – The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) is celebrating five years of A-train service this year by providing free A-train day passes as a gift to those who want to help celebrate the agency’s 21-commuter rail line’s fifth birthday. The promotional free day pass will only be valid on the A-train on Saturday, June 18. Passengers can ride the A-train free all day by downloading and presenting their free A-train day pass to rail operators.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the U.S. transit industry are working to improve the understanding and practice of Transit Asset Management (TAM), which is now a national effort.
The Pilot Program for TOD Planning helps support FTA’s mission of improving public transportation for America’s communities by providing funding to local communities to integrate land use and transportation planning with a transit capital investment that will seek funding through the CIG Program.
Monday, April 11 through Friday, April 15, all University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) students, faculty and staff will be able to ride Mountain Metropolitan Transit fixed-route buses for free.
On April 5th Tulsa voters approved a project which will provide ongoing dedicated funding for public transit services.
Technical Support Assistance to Focus on Supporting Local Efforts for Transit-Oriented Development
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s FederalTransit Administration (FTA) today announced the availability of $5.3 million in competitive grant funds to improve public transportation options that increase access to healthcare for those who lack good transportation choices.
|U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $266 Million Funding Opportunity to Improve Bus Service Nationwide|
Flowers Named to Top FTA Post
What makes SWTA special? It’s members! Why? Because they’re eager to share knowledge. Need a question answered?
VIA Metropolitan Transit partnered with San Antonio District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales and Vision Zero San Antonio to expand the ongoing “VIAware: Stop, Look and Listen” campaign launched in January. Gonzales administered the Vision Zero Safety Pledge to VIA operators and staff as part of the City of San Antonio’s communitywide safe roadways campaign.
Capital Metro’s RideShare program achieved an important milestone in February: accomplishing a record-breaking 200 vanpools—the highest number of participating employer groups in the agency’s history. In the last two years, membership has doubled since the program’s expansion allowing out-of-service-area commuters to participate. The most recent vanpool group member is made up of employees from Intel Corporation.
What do communities get for their investments in Complete Streets? In this study of 37 projects, Smart Growth America found that Complete Streets projects tended to improve safety for everyone, increased biking and walking, and showed a mix of increases and decreases in automobile traffic, depending in part on the project goal. Compared to conventional transportation projects, these projects were remarkably affordable, and were an inexpensive way to achieve transportation goals. In terms of economic returns, the limited data available suggests Complete Streets projects were related to broader economic gains like increased employment and higher property values.
Any local rural transit provider receiving assistance under Section 5311 may be nominated for FTA’s Administrator’s Award for Outstanding Public Service. Transit providers will be judged on their success in improving the mobility of Americans in rural areas and providing better access to jobs, health care, and other community services. Nominations must address how transit systems create connections for riders, particularly in low-income communities, as well as veterans, seniors, youths, and disadvantaged populations.
On Monday, April 4, the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) will launch two new pilot transit services in the City of Highland Village – Connect Shuttle and Community On-Demand. Both new services will provide more options for people to travel within Highland Village and connect to other DCTA services such as the A-train commuter rail, Lewisville Connect Bus and North Central Texas College (NCTC) campus shuttle. With the addition of the new services, DCTA will discontinue its current Connect RSVP service.
Yesterday the Capital Metro board of directors approved the master development agreement between the transit authority and the Endeavor/Columbus team to develop the 10-acre Plaza Saltillo District into one of Central Texas’ premier transit oriented developments, a mixed-use, mixed-mobility community in East Austin.
Cal Marsella is the reason Colorado and RTD became a part of the SWTA Nation. We mourn this loss of this transit giant and pray God’s peace for his family and friends.
With the opening of the Northwest Extension on March 19, Valley Metro designated three new light rail stations as safe places for teenagers that are homeless, have left their homes because of abuse or neglect or have been forced to leave by their parents.
The Northwest Extension opened today to more than 2,100 riders who rode the new service on 19th Avenue between Bethany Home and Dunlap avenues in north Phoenix.
EMBARK was recently recognized among regional transit systems by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Oklahoma Transit Association (OTA). The awards recognize contributions in building, promoting and advocating for better transit systems.
North Country HealthCare is the first employer to sign up for the Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority’s (NAIPTA) new commuter vanpool program.
While riding on 19 of the NCRTD’s bus routes remains fare-free to all, veterans can now ride free on the District’s fare-based Mountain Trail route to Ski Santa Fe and the weekend Taos Express which offers express service between Taos, Española and Santa Fe, as well as two demand service routes.
As funny as he is, he’s also frank. He centers much of his self-deprecating act around his disability. He aims to break down stereotypes one laugh at time.
The VIA Metropolitan Transit Board of Trustees elected two officers at their Jan. 26, 2016 meeting: Stephen P. Allison as the vice chair and Lester Bryant as the secretary.
Severe weather may impact shipments from MCI’s Louisville parts distribution center.
The League of American Bicyclists recognized the Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (NAIPTA) with a Silver Bicycle Friendly Business (BFBSM) award, joining more than 1,090 visionary businesses from across the country.
President Obama signed into law the FAST Act(Fixing America’s Surface Transportation), H.R. 22. There was no ceremony and no fanfare - just a simple statement from the White House that the President had signed the bill (which followed a presidential statement from earlier yesterday morning saying that the bill was “not perfect, but it is a commonsense compromise, and an important first step in the right direction”). The text of the enrolled bill as signed into law is here.