Mass Transit and Green Technology!

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I was reading a post from fellow transit nerd and fellow WordPress Blogger, Zachary Ziegler, about his former hometown agency at BFT (Ben Franklin Transit) testing out an Electric Transit Bus, not a hybrid but a 100% electric  bus!  You can check it out here, BFT Electric Bus Demonstration.  His post made me think of all of the other “green” initiatives in mass transit currently. Obviously the most popular option is electrified rail, but its also the most costly and if its not implemented properly it could become a huge disaster.  I remember a common theme from a book I read not long ago called Straphanger (definitely worth reading if you have even the smallest interest in transit).  The one thing that Taras Grescoe continued to repeat throughout the book is that agencies should invest in the option that is the absolute best for their service area and is also the most feasible financially.  The reason I say this is that being Green can cost a lot of the other kind of green, which is something that a lot of agencies are lacking thanks to the ineptitude of our elected “officials”.  For this reason an electric bus may be a viable option for cities that can’t even dream about affording rail.  They can be a green agency without having to sink a ton of money into an option that just doesn’t make sense.  The nice thing is that just about any bus out there can be outfitted with the electric engines.  Just imagine cities being cleaner and healthier simply because the big hulking buses aren’t spewing nasty carbon filled toxins anymore.

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T-N-T!

ITS DYNAMITE! Sadly this is not a post about those guys lol

Over the past year and a half that I have been an operator for HART I have learned quite about the transit world.  One that I find most interesting is the happy marriage of Twitter and Transit.  Many agencies, passengers, and transit advocates have found the speed and portability of Twitter to be invaluable.  The speed at which information can be shared these days is phenomenal and Twitter makes it much easier, more portable, and simplified (with a 140 character limit).  Ideas a shared by simply posting a link to a story, blog, or video. Continue reading

Don’t Miss The Bus!

The day has come for your first trip on public transportation.  You know where you need to go, you’ve got your map in hand as well as your bus schedule.  Now comes the task of actually getting on the bus.  Some of you might think, “well how hard could that possibly be?”  For the vast majority of the time its pretty darn simple, but there are those select few times where it might seem like the world is against you.  So hopefully with the help of this post you’ll never miss the bus again, and if you do you’ll understand why. Continue reading

Don’t X Transit

As you know the majority of my blog is about educating passengers, new and old.  But if congress goes through with their proposed transportation cuts, there may not be much use for me to write this blog.   Some of you may think, “why does it matter to me, I have a car.”  Well transportation cuts doesn’t only affect forms of mass transit, it also affects those roads you think you’ll be driving on, and it also pays to fix those bridges you would traverse to get from Tampa to St. Pete.  One other bit of food for thought, if you think traffic is horrible now, think about all of those people who had cars but chose transit as an alternate form of transit.  If they no longer have a bus to take them where they need to go, they’ll be in the lane right next to you stuck in the same traffic mess at Malfunction Junction.  Now what about those people who have no other way to get around without the bus.  The unemployment rate in this area is already disgusting as is, if those people have no way to get to work then they will only add to that number.

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How Efficient Can a Bus Route Be?

Most people believe that the efficiency of a bus route rests solely on the bus authority.  While most of the responsibility rests on the bus company, the passengers who use that bus route have quite a bit of control in the how efficient that route reaches its destination. Continue reading