Friday, April 5, 2013

RTAC Transreport - Winter 2013

Be sure to check out the latest RTAC Transreport, the newsletter of the Illinois Rural Transit Assistance Program.

In it, Jacqueline Waters, transit specialist shares:

* RTAC Notes - changes to FY14 operating assistance grant - Program Compliance Oversight Monitor 

* IPTA Notes - Rural Mobility Index for 5311 providers to compare themselves with their peers and to evaluate their progress 
* Repairing vs. Maintaining - An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 

* Household with No Vehicles - 2011 map of households lacking vehicles across Illinois

* Roadeo - the 11th Annual Roadeo is April 27, 2013 in New Berlin, IL
* Transit Movers - Jaime Blatti, Lee Ogle Transportation System; Marcus Cox, Veolia Transportation

* RTAC training team - Rudy Muzzarelli, Resha Oylear

* Do Not Overlook this Key to Safety - inspect the restraint system

Thanks for another great issue Jacqueline!
:) Dawn

Monday, February 25, 2013

As Gas Prices Rise, Savings for Public Transit Riders Increase

For those dealing with the 30 cent increase in gas prices from last month, taking public transportation instead of driving stands out as a solution.

According to the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) February Transit Savings Report, individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can save, on average, more than $826 this month, and $9,917 annually. These savings are based on the cost of commuting by public transportation compared to the cost of owning and driving a vehicle which includes the February 12, 2013 average national gas price ($3.60 per gallon- reported by AAA) and the national unreserved monthly parking rate.

See more at NAPTA (National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates) is a national organization representing grassroots transit coalitions, grassroots transit rider organizations and advocates that support increasing investment in public transportation.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Getting to the "How" of Transit

Erika Smith wrote a good commentary called "Ads Show Mass Transit Talk Finally Is Traveling from ‘Why’ to ‘How’" in the 1/25/13 issue of APTA's Passenger Transport.

In the piece she discussed how people in Central Indiana are now debating how to add transit that makes sense economically, politically, and logistically instead of just asking why we need more transit options. This is a good direction for urban areas that I hope will reflect in rural areas too.

This quote summed it up perfectly:
Once you start hammering out the ‘how” of transit, suddenly, it becomes more relevant to people’s lives.  And just as suddenly, the “why” starts to make more sense.
For those of us working on the ground level, we know that there are unmet needs in every community. Opening up a discussion in how to meet the needs is an excellent first step to bringing about sustainable change.

If you don't already receive Passenger Transport, I encourage you to take a look.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Nearly 80% of voters support public transit

In this issue of APTA's Passenger Transport, Michael Melaniphy, APTA President and CEO noted:
November 2012, Americans nationwide approved 49 of 62–or 79 percent–of public transit initiatives.
Melaniphy goes on to discuss what the public wants from public transit:
If last year’s victories at the ballot box were not compelling enough, public transportation continued to raise the bar for our aspirations in 2013. In a nationwide survey, the public told us what it thinks—and what it wants:

* 81 percent value public transit’s affordable mobility;
* 79 percent believe public transportation offers opportunities for every segment of the population;
* 76 percent favor increased funding for public transportation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and improve America’s economic security;
* 75 percent support using tax dollars to expand and improve public transportation; and
* 73 percent say a strong transit system leads to economic growth in their communities.

Given these results, our mandate is clear: Keep fighting for those public transit dollars that have proven to be an engine for growth and a lifeline to mobility.
Read the article online 

Key points to share for public education and outreach:
  • 79% of public transit initiatives passed at the ballots last November
 In a national APTA survey the public supported public transportation:  
  • 76% - increase public transit funding to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and improve America’s economic security.
  • 75% - use tax dollars to expand and improve public transportation.
  • 73% - strong transit system = economic growth in their communities.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New RTAC Transreport

RTAC Transit Specialist Jacqueline Waters put together a terrific issue this season with the Fall 2012 issue of the RTAC Transreport.

Included are:
  • RTAC Notes: Modeling Abraham Lincoln's honesty and integrity 
  • IPTA Notes: IPTA Strategic Plan
  • Promotion Idea: Lee-Ogle Adopt a Rider Program
  • Regional Maintenance Center Fiscal Year 2012 Statistics
  • Spotlight: Grundy Transit System (GTS) Sherey Zerbian, director
  • Transit Movers: John Metzinger director Danville Mass Transit; Roger Kelzer assistant director for Jo Daviess County Transit;
  • An Interview with Rich Machala (Ma-how-a) by Jacqueline Waters
Hold the dates:

           March 6-7, 2013
          Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs,Rural Community Economic Development Conference, Peoria

          April 3-4, 2013
          RTAC Spring Conference, Springfield

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Transportation wins in elections

This is from Larry Ehl's website: Transportation Issues Daily:
Another election day, another collection of resounding victories for transportation ballot measures across the country. One national group (ARTBA) reports that 68% of the measures to increase or extend funding for highways, bridges and transit passed. We think we've gathered the most comprehensive list of funding measures (click here), regardless of mode and level of government.
The successes came at the state and local levels, and were for roads, transit or both. Many of the measures increased, extended or renewed a property or gas tax. Three of the four statewide measures to raise additional transportation funds passed with an average approval rate of 63 percent.
The outcome was not unusual. The high success rate for transportation ballot measures is becoming the norm: 61% (2010), 78% (2008), 77% (2006) and 76% (2004). It begs the question of why it is so difficult to pass a federal transportation bill, when those proposals aren't even raising taxes and fees. The success rate may also indicate that more states, regions and local governments are taking funding issues into their own hands and recognizing the decline in federal funds.
 Reposted from Larry Ehl - Transportation Issues Daily

Friday, October 26, 2012

Customer Service

What kind of business are you in? Are you in the "people moving business" or the "transportation business"? There is a big difference in the culture of your organization and how you treat riders depending on your answer.

This document from National RTAP Customer Service in Rural Transit: How to Identify and Meet Customer Needs is by John W. Martin, President and CEO of the Southeastern Institute of Research. Although I've shared it before, it is definitely worth re-posting.

We all need a reminder that our business truly is all about the customer.