Mountain Line is bucking the nationwide trend of declining bus ridership, registering another year of record ridership and surpassing Fiscal Year 2017 ridership by more than 17 percent.
The South West Transit Association (SWTA) announced its 31ST Annual Spotlight Award winners during the Transit Marketing Workshop held at the Aloft Oklahoma City Downtown - Bricktown hotel.
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.
FTA today announced the opportunity to apply for approximately $366.3 million in fiscal year 2018 competitive grant funding for transit bus projects nationwide. The Buses and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program is authorized by Congress to improve the condition of bus infrastructure nationwide by funding the replacement and rehabilitation of buses and related facilities.
VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt has been elected to serve as Vice Chair for the Visit San Antonio (VSA) Board of Directors, a designation that reflects Arndt’s and VIA’s ongoing support for connecting the region’s rich culture and historical destinations.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 7, 2018) — The METRO Board of Directors announced the hiring of Charles Frazier, current assistant director of Palm Tran in Palm Beach County, Florida, as the new Rock Region METRO executive director. Frazier has 22 years of experience as an administrator, serving in the Palm Beach County administration as division director of electronic services and security and manager of network services for the county, in addition to serving on the Palm Tran leadership team. He is among 25 public transportation officials selected for the year-long American Public Transportation Association leadership program, designed to help participants develop their skills and prepare them for senior and executive leadership roles. His first day at METRO will be Monday, June 25.
In conjunction with Public Service Recognition Week, Topeka Metro honors federal, state, and local public employees by offering free rides May 7 through May 12, 2018. Public employees with proper identification can receive unlimited free rides on the fixed routes.
VIA Metropolitan Transit, the City of San Antonio Tricentennial Commission, and the Witte Museum on Wednesday unveiled a mobile version of the premier Tricentennial exhibit, “Confluence and Culture: 300 Years of San Antonio History,” now on display at the Witte. The history-on-wheels project sponsored by VIA is an extension of the current multi-faceted exhibition that portrays San Antonio as the hub of the frontier under many flags over three centuries.
Recent declines in public transportation ridership have prompted a discussion on the factors influencing and causing those declines, and the steps public transit agencies should take to change the ridership trend. Recent nationwide trends, like the emergence of new mobility companies and new technologies, have the potential to reform the current mobility landscape and reduce personal automobile trips. However, public transportation agencies must adapt in order to reinforce the position of public transit as an efficient mode of travel. The public transportation industry can potentially capitalize on external technological innovation and broad economic trends in the coming years. The industry should work to implement adaptations that will provide increased access and use for this efficient mode, while reinforcing the value public transportation still provides.
VIA Metropolitan Transit, the City of San Antonio Tricentennial Commission, and the Witte Museum unveiled a mobile version of the premier Tricentennial exhibit, “Confluence and Culture: 300 Years of San Antonio History,” now on display at the Witte. The history-on-wheels project sponsored by VIA is an extension of the current multi-faceted exhibition that portrays San Antonio as the hub of the frontier under many flags over three centuries.
Per the Appropriations Bill from last month, $1.5B is available.
VIA Metropolitan Transit officially dedicated its new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station April 18, at the regional transit agency’s San Antonio campus. Guests at the Wednesday morning Dedication Ceremony got a first look inside the 10,980 square foot compressor compound that stands as the largest in North America.
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (April 18, 2018) –Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (NAIPTA) CEO & General Manager Jeff Meilbeck was recognized as the “Transit Individual of the Year” at the 2018 Arizona Transit Association (AzTA) and Arizona Department of Transportation’s (ADOT) Excellence Awards.
Rock Region METRO was awarded $3,570,000 in Federal Transit Administration funds to purchase seven compressed natural gas buses slated to join the METRO fleet in 2020. This is the largest FTA competitive grant for bus and bus facilities METRO has received.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — South West Transit Association (SWTA) honored Congressman Marc Veasey (D-TX) with the organization’s 2018 Legislator of the Year Award. Even on a wet, dreary morning more than 75 transit leaders from across SWTA’s eight-state region braved the cold to attend the ceremony and breakfast.
When fall rolls around, the weather begins changes, you start to get in the holiday spirit, and… almost everyone gets sick? This isn’t a coincidence. The colder weather coincides with the beginning of flu season—a time when people being diagnosed with the flu occurs more frequently than normal rates.
TULSA, Ok— The Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority (Tulsa Transit) is excited to announce the start of the Connecting Progress Plan. Tulsa Transit will complete the Connecting Progress Plan which is an operations analysis to determine the best way to deploy, and possibly reorganize, routes to serve existing and future transit customers. Potential outcomes of the Connecting Progress Plan include improvements to route connections, frequency, service span, and trip speed.
Michael Tann, the executive director for Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority in Erie, Pa., has been hired to lead Wichita Transit, City Manager Robert Layton announced on Tuesday.
Two important SWTA Member issues to consider: Bylaws Revision and 2018-19 Slate of Officers and Directors.
Proterra Named in “2018 Global Cleantech 100”, And Winner “North American Company of the Year” Award
Proterra is Named in the 2018 Global Cleantech 100 and as Winner of the “North American Company of the Year” Award
Delta casts a skeptical eye on snakes, turkeys, possums and ducks in the cabin.
Read about the government shutdown and the Community Transportation Association of America’s analysis of how it affects you.
After an extensive search, the OTA Board Members unanimously voted to appoint Mark Nestlen as the new Executive Director, effective February 1, 2018.
Transit industry executive search firm KL2 Connects LLC announces the addition of John Bartosiewicz as the firm’s sixth principal.
Politico Pro released this fantastic infographic identifying trends of public transit use across the nation. Details on how more than 7.5 million American workers utilize services in their communities are invaluable in the continuous process to best serve these patrons.
Today, the League of American Bicyclists recognized Topeka Metropolitan Transit Authority (Topeka Metro) with Silver designation as a Bicyle Friendly Business (BFB) award.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and the Kansas Public Transit Association have formed a new partnership to raise awareness and work to combat human trafficking in Kansas.
“We really appreciate the leadership at the Public Transit Association engaging us on this,” said Schmidt. “We’ve partnered with a number of private sector groups to try to increase the number of eyes and ears that are trained around the state to spot kids and others who are trafficking victims and need assistance.”
See how Transit is celebrating the holidays!
University of Oklahoma Helps the Cleveland County Christmas Store Lift the Community
Capital Metro, Whole Foods, Central Texas Food Bank Team Up to “Stuff the Bus”
DART’s Holiday Stuff a Bus Campaign
Rio Metro’s 5th Annual Santa’s Village
ABQ RIDE’s Annual Luminaria Tour Sold Out
What is your agency doing to celebrate the holidays? Send stories to Elise Manion (email@example.com).
Veteran Community Project, RideKC, reminds area veterans that free fare is available every day with the RideKC Veterans Pass. The Free Fare for Veterans program began in April of this year, and the program has provided more than 500,000 rides and distributed more than 3,500 passes. KCATA, in partnership with the Kansas City Veterans Administration and the (VCP), honors veterans through this program. The initiative is sponsored by the Greater Kansas City Labor Unions/AFL-CIO.
Nearly 90% of public transportation initiatives were approved by voters from coast to coast across the U.S. this year. In the November 7th election, seven of eight initiatives passed with one result still to be determined. Throughout the country this year, voters in 17 states and communities of all sizes voted for increased investment in public transportation, bringing the success rate to nearly 90% (87.5%), according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
Most Americans may view public transportation as a mainstay of urban life, but rural communities like Plainview have embraced public transit. Most rural residents continue to rely on personal vehicles to get around, but some people can’t afford a car or truck. Others are elderly or have illnesses that impede driving. Rural Americans skew older; have more health problems; and must travel greater distances for social visits, health care, and daily chores than city-dwellers. And rural residents-especially African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans-are generally poorer than their urban counterparts.
House and Senate Republican and Democrat conferees have been appointed to the conference committee that will be responsible for reconciling differences between the House and Senate-passed tax reform bills.
Out of the 14 member of the House Conferees, three are from the SWTA Region: Chairman Brady (R-TX), Cong Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and Cong Raul Guijalva (D-AZ)
Out of the 15 selected for the Senate Conferees, one is from the SWTA Region: Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)
APTA sent a letter to the conferees stating priorities on tax reform reinforcing the principles stated in previous letters to the tax-writing committees in both chambers. These include the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund, Private Activity Bonds (PABs), Advance Refundability of Municipal Bonds, the Commuter Tax Benefit, and Alternative Fuels Benefits.
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.
See how the SWTA Nation remembers Rosa Parks
Wichita Transit is #RecognizingRosaParks
Topeka Metro offered free ride day December 1st
Cimarron Transit/Free CityRides offered Friday in honor of Rosa Parks
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.