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Ron2themax

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  1. You guys have done the work as far as figuring the game/other options as far as getting to the Mega Mall from New York and points in northern New Jersey. Smart you guys outline the fare stuctures. Alot of people including most tourists are simple mind hence they'll pay the ridiculous $9.00 fare. The smart ones will get around it by saving cash using other options that NJ Transit doesn't want to mention to the public. It just boils down to are individuals have the patience to do the transfers and waiting time other than direct service NYC speaking. As far as the 160, unfortunately it doesn't stop at the American Dream transit hub. Only serving Metlife and Race track. That will really mess up the fare structure of the 160 if it stops there at the mall from NYC. People wouldn't even take the 355. Also, Market Street don't have 45 footers. I assume Meadowlands Garage will use there 45 footer MCIs on that route with occasional D4000s depending on equipment availability. It's funny how New York Waterway Ferry Service is joining in. Good for those residents living in Weehawken and those that take bus 158 from Fort Lee and Edgewater. I think the 85 route may see a huge jump in ridership to the point of revising the schedule to every 15 to 20 minutes. Imagine the crowds in Hoboken, Jersey City Heights and Union City (transfer point from other NJTbuses and jitneys) and Mill Creek shops, but with the hotels in that area on that route. Crushing loads. We all know NJT supervisors will be out in tow at multiple busy bus stops long the route. Perhaps with there pen and pad like those at the PABT writing the number of riders boarding each route.
  2. Nice pictures! Nice pictures! I hope the NJ Friends Historic Bus Mueseum down in Lakewood will reserve a Neoplan artic, preferably a Suburban. Of course a good conditioned artic. It's gonna need a total makeover since majority of them are banged up, dirty, stained, some electric parts not working ect. Surely NJT will provide good conditioned parts on the current buses and replace it with the one bus that's going into the historic bus lineup. Hell, I wish the museum could get both transit and suburban configuration Neoplan artics
  3. Courtesy of Trains Magazine: KEARNY, N.J. — NJ Transit provided the first public look and more details on its three heritage locomotives on Tuesday, and did not rule out the possibility that more such locomotives could follow. The locomotives were unveiled Saturday at the agency's Family Days event for employees. [See "NJ Transit reveals heritage locomotives," Trains News Wire, Oct. 5, 2019.] The project evolved as part of discussions among several NJ Transit managers who noted how other railroads and airlines used heritage paint schemes to mark anniversaries. A mix of paint and wraps were used to note the lineage of the commuter rail operations that became part of NJ Transit. The three engines — Bombardier ALP-46A electric No. 4636, now wearing a Pennsylvania Railroad scheme; dual-mode Bombardier ALP-45DP No. 4519, commemorating Erie Lackawanna, and EMD GP40H-2 diesel No. 4109, returned to a version of its as-delivered Central of New Jersey scheme — were chosen because of their specific maintenance cycles and their need to be repainted. The GP40H-2 had last been painted in 1992. When the project was approved, Deputy General Manager of Mechanical Equipment Charlie Tomaszfski assembled a team of carmen, mechanics, laborers, and shop workers to prepare and decorate the locomotives, extending a collaboration that also involved senior and executive-level staff members. Contacts within the railroad industry and with railroad historical societies provided technical assistance with paint colors, fonts, and striping details. For the two Bombardier locomotives, 60% of the heritage scheme utilizes a vinyl wrap, with the design of those wraps a collaboration between NJ Transit and the historical societies. The GP40PH-2 was repainted into a scheme reasonably consistent with its original version, using some logo and lettering decals. After drawings for the designs of the wraps were reviewed internally and externally, Reidler Railroad Graphics of Saint Clair, Pa., supplied and installed the wraps and lettering. Conrail, the owner of the Pennsylvania and Eric Lackawanna names and likenesses, entered into a licensing agreement allowing their use and reviewed the conceptual drawings. On both the Bombardier ALP-46A and ALP-45DP units, the black “sideburn” sections on the previous paint jobs house blower and electrical runs that require the areas to be unencumbered during maintenance cycles. These areas, defined by hard angles and not curves, made efforts to extend striping or other changes over them appear to be forced. So the units were wrapped on the sides and ends; the roof areas, trucks and underframes were touched up with black paint to match the existing paint. The wraps are expected to last for a minimum of seven years. For the GP40, a key design piece was fabricating as-delivered EMD number boards; a non-NJ Transit railroad official made sure that they looked exactly as they did when they left EMD’s La Grange, Ill., plant in 1968. NJ Transit officials expect the Pennsylvania unit to enter revenue service in a few weeks. The Erie Lackawanna locomotive will operate on NJT’s positive train control test train. The GP40H-2, currently used as a switcher, will have head-end power equipment installed and be used in revenue service. All three units are PTC equipped. NJ Transit continues to explore options including the possibility of more heritage locomotives operating next year.
  4. Courtesy of Trains magazine: KEARNY, N.J. — NJ Transit provided the first public look and more details on its three heritage locomotives on Tuesday, and did not rule out the possibility that more such locomotives could follow. The locomotives were unveiled Saturday at the agency's Family Days event for employees. [See "NJ Transit reveals heritage locomotives," Trains News Wire, Oct. 5, 2019.] The project evolved as part of discussions among several NJ Transit managers who noted how other railroads and airlines used heritage paint schemes to mark anniversaries. A mix of paint and wraps were used to note the lineage of the commuter rail operations that became part of NJ Transit. The three engines — Bombardier ALP-46A electric No. 4636, now wearing a Pennsylvania Railroad scheme; dual-mode Bombardier ALP-45DP No. 4519, commemorating Erie Lackawanna, and EMD GP40H-2 diesel No. 4109, returned to a version of its as-delivered Central of New Jersey scheme — were chosen because of their specific maintenance cycles and their need to be repainted. The GP40H-2 had last been painted in 1992. When the project was approved, Deputy General Manager of Mechanical Equipment Charlie Tomaszfski assembled a team of carmen, mechanics, laborers, and shop workers to prepare and decorate the locomotives, extending a collaboration that also involved senior and executive-level staff members. Contacts within the railroad industry and with railroad historical societies provided technical assistance with paint colors, fonts, and striping details. For the two Bombardier locomotives, 60% of the heritage scheme utilizes a vinyl wrap, with the design of those wraps a collaboration between NJ Transit and the historical societies. The GP40PH-2 was repainted into a scheme reasonably consistent with its original version, using some logo and lettering decals. After drawings for the designs of the wraps were reviewed internally and externally, Reidler Railroad Graphics of Saint Clair, Pa., supplied and installed the wraps and lettering. Conrail, the owner of the Pennsylvania and Eric Lackawanna names and likenesses, entered into a licensing agreement allowing their use and reviewed the conceptual drawings. On both the Bombardier ALP-46A and ALP-45DP units, the black “sideburn” sections on the previous paint jobs house blower and electrical runs that require the areas to be unencumbered during maintenance cycles. These areas, defined by hard angles and not curves, made efforts to extend striping or other changes over them appear to be forced. So the units were wrapped on the sides and ends; the roof areas, trucks and underframes were touched up with black paint to match the existing paint. The wraps are expected to last for a minimum of seven years. For the GP40, a key design piece was fabricating as-delivered EMD number boards; a non-NJ Transit railroad official made sure that they looked exactly as they did when they left EMD’s La Grange, Ill., plant in 1968. NJ Transit officials expect the Pennsylvania unit to enter revenue service in a few weeks. The Erie Lackawanna locomotive will operate on NJT’s positive train control test train. The GP40H-2, currently used as a switcher, will have head-end power equipment installed and be used in revenue service. All three units are PTC equipped. NJ Transit continues to explore options including the possibility of more heritage locomotives operating next year.
  5. KEARNY, N.J. — NJ Transit unveiled three heritage locomotives Saturday at its annual Family Days event at its Meadows Maintenance Complex, and is scheduled to debut the locomotives for the general public on Tuesday. The three locomotives are GP40PH-2 No. 4109, repainted to a version of the Central of New Jersey livery it wore when first delivered in 1968; Bombardier ALP-46A No. 4636, an electric locomotive painted into a Pennsylvania Railroad scheme; and dual-mode Bombardier ALP-45DP No. 4519, with an Erie-Lackawanna paint scheme. NJ Transit, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, initiated its heritage program earlier this year with the debut of a set of bilevel coaches wrapped to honor its predecessor railroads. [See “NJ Transit unveils six heritage commuter cars,” Trains News Wire, July 17, 2019.]
  6. I have place this topic on both MTA NYCT bus forum and NJ Transit forum respectively. MTA currently has electric buses while NJ Transit will have an order for electric buses arrive nextyear in Camden for pilot testing. I think NJ Transit should've started their first pilot testing of electric buses in Jersey City from routes based out of Greenville garage. Courtesy of Metro Magazine. Electric bus use is growing, with nearly half of municipal buses on the road globally expected to be electric by 2025 and the size of the U.S. electric bus market projected to reach $1.95 billion by 2024. With all this change in the (cleaner) air — amid growing environmental concerns, legislation mandating electric vehicle adoption, low maintenance costs, and funding and tax incentives — transit companies that aren’t already using electric buses would do well to consider planning how to integrate them into their fleet. Though the infrastructure for electric vehicles needs to be taken into consideration, including issues such as which batteries to use and where charging stations should be located, integrating electric vehicles into a fleet is about much more than hardware. The underlying challenge is that electric buses have different needs than diesel ones — perhaps most significantly, they need recharging more often than diesel buses require refueling — and that makes efficient scheduling both more complicated and more necessary than ever. Here are three important factors that transit agencies, operators and schedulers should consider when thinking about incorporating electric buses into their planning and scheduling: Charge times Introducing electric buses into transit systems requires operators to consider how charge times affect the planning and scheduling of bus routes. It’s essential for operators to figure out each vehicle’s range limits and the minimum charging requirements for each route, which dictate the level of energy needed for a given trip and the amount of spare energy required. Charging time for each battery type must also be considered. Since electric buses need more recharging than diesel buses, some drivers may face range anxiety, the fear that the vehicle won’t have enough juice to make it to the end of the route. The goal here is to schedule buses in a way that alleviates range anxiety while also getting the most value out of the vehicles by keeping them on the road while incorporating charge times into the schedule at the right junctures. To do that, it’s important to build a charging strategy that answers questions such as: What’s the range and minimum battery capacity for a given trip? For example, a bus with 70% remaining charge could have a remaining range of 45 miles and remaining time of 4 hours and 20 minutes. Once you know the baseline, the schedule can take that into account. What’s the maximum widespread? The duration of a break at the depot is more significant for electric buses than diesel ones, since it dictates the potential for increasing the vehicle’s charge. How many recharging events do you want to have? For instance, if you have multiple short charging events instead of long charges, you may be able to keep a vehicle at a lower remaining charge if you know it will be recharged shortly. But in some circumstances it may be better to charge just once at night. What kind of batteries and chargers are used for each vehicle? Important variables include the type, capacity and discharge rate of the batteries as well as the battery types supported by the chargers and their charging rate. Cost Charging electric buses comes with a new set of cost considerations for transit operators. There’s a lot of interplay between cost and charging times, since bus schedules must take into account both the amount of time electric buses need to charge and the time of day they do so. Introducing electric buses into transit systems requires operators to consider how charge times affect the planning and scheduling of bus routes. BAEThe cost of electricity changes over the course of a 24-hour period, and also varies based on the day of the week and the season. This means that transit companies can exert some control over operational costs for electric buses by timing their charging events accordingly, but must be careful to take into account the demand charges imposed by electric utilities at peak times, which can have a significant impact on cost. Cost can also be affected by the type of recharging event, whether for longer periods during off-peak hours or shorter bursts throughout the day. The lifetime cost of electric buses is lower than diesel buses, despite the demand charges and the higher initial cost of electric buses, a Columbia University electric bus analysis for New York City Transit found. The savings are due to lower operational costs, including maintenance and charging. In addition, battery costs are expected to decline in the coming years, further lowering the overall cost of ownership. Fleet size Just as charge time scheduling can affect cost, it can also affect peak vehicle requirements and overall fleet size, since there need to be enough vehicles to allow for quick rotations as one bus gets charged and another moves into active use. Analyzing multiple scheduling scenarios makes it easier to experiment in order to find the one that best meets needs like reducing PVR. For example, we used two different charging strategies to see how the length of the charge time would affect the peak vehicle requirement for a hybrid fleet with six diesel buses. We found that when two full, long charges were scheduled per day, the peak vehicle requirement came to nine buses. But it dropped to eight buses with partial recharges that averaged out to four short bursts of energy a day. Charge times, cost and fleet size are important factors to take into account when planning how best to integrate electric vehicles into a bus fleet. Once these factors are expressed as preferences and constraints, sophisticated scheduling platforms can optimize electric miles by creating efficient schedules that eke the most value out of each bus.
  7. I've decided to place this article courtesy of Metro Magazine in both NYCT Bus forum and NJ Transit forum respectively. MTA already has electric buses rolling on the streets currently while NJ Transit will get their electric buses presumably nextyear. Electric bus use is growing, with nearly half of municipal buses on the road globally expected to be electric by 2025 and the size of the U.S. electric bus market projected to reach $1.95 billion by 2024. With all this change in the (cleaner) air — amid growing environmental concerns, legislation mandating electric vehicle adoption, low maintenance costs, and funding and tax incentives — transit companies that aren’t already using electric buses would do well to consider planning how to integrate them into their fleet. Though the infrastructure for electric vehicles needs to be taken into consideration, including issues such as which batteries to use and where charging stations should be located, integrating electric vehicles into a fleet is about much more than hardware. The underlying challenge is that electric buses have different needs than diesel ones — perhaps most significantly, they need recharging more often than diesel buses require refueling — and that makes efficient scheduling both more complicated and more necessary than ever. Here are three important factors that transit agencies, operators and schedulers should consider when thinking about incorporating electric buses into their planning and scheduling: Charge times Introducing electric buses into transit systems requires operators to consider how charge times affect the planning and scheduling of bus routes. It’s essential for operators to figure out each vehicle’s range limits and the minimum charging requirements for each route, which dictate the level of energy needed for a given trip and the amount of spare energy required. Charging time for each battery type must also be considered. Since electric buses need more recharging than diesel buses, some drivers may face range anxiety, the fear that the vehicle won’t have enough juice to make it to the end of the route. The goal here is to schedule buses in a way that alleviates range anxiety while also getting the most value out of the vehicles by keeping them on the road while incorporating charge times into the schedule at the right junctures. To do that, it’s important to build a charging strategy that answers questions such as: What’s the range and minimum battery capacity for a given trip? For example, a bus with 70% remaining charge could have a remaining range of 45 miles and remaining time of 4 hours and 20 minutes. Once you know the baseline, the schedule can take that into account. What’s the maximum widespread? The duration of a break at the depot is more significant for electric buses than diesel ones, since it dictates the potential for increasing the vehicle’s charge. How many recharging events do you want to have? For instance, if you have multiple short charging events instead of long charges, you may be able to keep a vehicle at a lower remaining charge if you know it will be recharged shortly. But in some circumstances it may be better to charge just once at night. What kind of batteries and chargers are used for each vehicle? Important variables include the type, capacity and discharge rate of the batteries as well as the battery types supported by the chargers and their charging rate. Cost Charging electric buses comes with a new set of cost considerations for transit operators. There’s a lot of interplay between cost and charging times, since bus schedules must take into account both the amount of time electric buses need to charge and the time of day they do so. Introducing electric buses into transit systems requires operators to consider how charge times affect the planning and scheduling of bus routes. BAEThe cost of electricity changes over the course of a 24-hour period, and also varies based on the day of the week and the season. This means that transit companies can exert some control over operational costs for electric buses by timing their charging events accordingly, but must be careful to take into account the demand charges imposed by electric utilities at peak times, which can have a significant impact on cost. Cost can also be affected by the type of recharging event, whether for longer periods during off-peak hours or shorter bursts throughout the day. The lifetime cost of electric buses is lower than diesel buses, despite the demand charges and the higher initial cost of electric buses, a Columbia University electric bus analysis for New York City Transit found. The savings are due to lower operational costs, including maintenance and charging. In addition, battery costs are expected to decline in the coming years, further lowering the overall cost of ownership. Fleet size Just as charge time scheduling can affect cost, it can also affect peak vehicle requirements and overall fleet size, since there need to be enough vehicles to allow for quick rotations as one bus gets charged and another moves into active use. Analyzing multiple scheduling scenarios makes it easier to experiment in order to find the one that best meets needs like reducing PVR. For example, we used two different charging strategies to see how the length of the charge time would affect the peak vehicle requirement for a hybrid fleet with six diesel buses. We found that when two full, long charges were scheduled per day, the peak vehicle requirement came to nine buses. But it dropped to eight buses with partial recharges that averaged out to four short bursts of energy a day. Charge times, cost and fleet size are important factors to take into account when planning how best to integrate electric vehicles into a bus fleet. Once these factors are expressed as preferences and constraints, sophisticated scheduling platforms can optimize electric miles by creating efficient schedules that eke the most value out of each bus.
  8. Courtesy of Metro Magazine Toyota Motor Corp. (Toyota) announced that it will provide a full line-up of electrified vehicles to support the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games being held in Tokyo. The automotive company will provide a total of around 3,700 mobility products and/or vehicles for the events. The majority, or nearly 90%, of the official vehicle fleet will be electrified. Electrified vehicles include hybrid-electric vehicles (HEV), fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV), plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEV), and battery-electric vehicles (BEV), including the APM (accessible people mover) and the autonomous e-Palette. Among the electrified vehicles provided, Toyota will include approximately 500 FCEVs and approximately 850 BEVs, the largest of any fleet for a Games to date. Preliminary calculations suggest that the CO2 emitted by the commercially-available fleet for Tokyo 2020 will average less than 80 g/km*1, resulting in a reduction by approx. half of the typical amount when compared to a similar sized fleet of mostly conventional gasoline and diesel models. Additionally, further reductions are anticipated during the Games when combined with Toyota's other advanced mobility products and/or electrified vehicles, including the unique versions of vehicles or vehicles designed for use at the Games. As such, Toyota aims to achieve the lowest emissions target level of any official fleet used at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. RELATED: Olympics could paralyze Tokyo's subway system, study warns To help avoid collisions and reduce/mitigate potential damage or injury, all of the commercially-available vehicles for staff transportation support will come equipped with Toyota's preventative safety technologies. Additionally, nearly all the commercially-available vehicles will also be equipped with Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS), designed to assist with braking in the event of unintended misapplication of the acceleration pedal. Aside from the official fleet, Toyota will also support Games operations with other vehicles, including the mass-transit Fuel Cell Bus "Sora", assistive vehicles that help lift passengers into their seats or are equipped with an attached slope to allow passengers with wheelchairs access to enter the vehicle via the back door, and other vehicles such as Fuel Cell Forklifts made and sold by Toyota Industries Corp. Some of the vehicles that Toyota will provide: Toyota's accessible people mover (APM) will help attendees with special mobility needs travel within Tokyo 2020 event venues for last-mile transportation and relief activities. ToyotaAPM/automated people mover Approx. 200 units to help attendees with special mobility needs travel within Tokyo 2020 event venues for last-mile transportation and relief activities. The APM will feature three-row seating. In the first row will be the driver's seat, the second row provides seating for three, and the third row will offer seating for two, allowing total seating for six people, five passengers and one driver. When used for passengers in wheelchairs, the configuration can be modified by folding the seats to allow the wheelchair rider in the second row. Toyota's first battery-electric vehicle developed specifically for Autono-MaaS, the Tokyo 2020 e-Palette will support transportation needs of staff and athletes, with a dozen or more running on a continuous loop within the Olympic and Paralympic Village. With a low-floor, electric slope and by stopping precisely at each stop, leaving little to no gap or opening between the curb and the bus, the e-Palette will make travel easier for wheelchair passengers and support smooth transport over short distances. The vehicle is anticipated to feature automated driving (up to SAE Level 4). In addition to having an operator aboard every vehicle to monitor the automated driving operation, Toyota will also provide a digital control system to monitor the general operating conditions of the vehicle.
  9. I understand most of you know about this news, but just in casr for those that don't know or just a refresher. Courtesy of Metro Magazine TRANSIT submitted an updated financial plan for the Portal North Bridge Project to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The revised plan was adjusted to reflect FTA and United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) feedback on a previous submission, making more local money available for the project while keeping costs in check. The majority of the feedback from the federal government involved concerns over whether enough funding sources were identified and committed in the proposal to meet project costs and potential cost overruns. To demonstrate the funds would be in place for the project, NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak have worked together to identify and commit specific funding sources for the project. Amtrak has also committed an additional $55 million from passenger revenues toward project costs. The funds are in addition to the December 2018 agreement between NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak that provided another $182 million for projects in New Jersey such as the Portal North Bridge Project. NJ TRANSIT submitted the revised financial plan as the Project Sponsor, in partnership with Amtrak. The agency had committed $600 million dollars to the project previously and is seeking approximately $811 million in federal dollars to complete the project. Advancing the Portal North Bridge Project toward construction is critical to eliminating the major disruptions to train service on the NEC between Newark, N.J. and New York Penn Station. The NEC is the busiest passenger rail line in the U.S., and a long-term outage of the Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River would result in catastrophic delays from Boston to the nation’s capital. The replacement Portal North Bridge is designed as a high-level, fixed span bridge that will allow marine traffic to pass underneath without interrupting rail traffic. The project is 100% designed, fully permitted, and has seen early work completed on time and under budget. These successes make it especially well-positioned to begin construction to provide increased reliability and capacity to rail passengers throughout the region and nation in the near-term. Once full construction begins, the remainder of the Portal North Bridge Project is estimated to take approximately five years.
  10. A new study titled “Understanding How Women Travel” was released by Los Angeles-based Metro this month. The report is the first of its kind by a transit agency in the U.S. and is a broad effort that doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to pointing to challenges faced by women when using the Metro system — from traveling with kids and strollers to safety to fares. The report’s findings confirm much of what we already know: women have different mobility needs, travel patterns and commute demands and some women feel unsafe using Metro for a variety of reasons. But we now have far more detailed data — gleamed from several sources, including focus groups and Metro’s customer surveys — on specific concerns and where there may be room for improvement, whether it’s better lighting at stations and stops and surrounding areas or having a more visible police or security presence. It’s important to understand the report is a first step. It’s a building block, in other words. With the findings from this study, Metro will next create a Gender Action Plan that will recommend specific actions to improve women’s travel experiences on our system. Those could include upgrades to the design of bus stops, train stations and vehicles — as well as improvements to service and safety. The report also includes some best practices that Metro can draw from other transit systems around the world. We also think it’s worth adding some context: while it’s good to acknowledge there’s room for improvement, the Metro system carries about 1.15 million boardings on the average weekday and many women and men successfully use the system without incident each day. Among the report’s findings: Women Travel Behavior Across all modes of transportation, women typically take more trips per day than men. At the other end of the spectrum, women are more likely than men to make zero trips per day. What that means: women have more exposure to travel burdens (cost, stress, safety risks) and are more likely to be isolated or disconnected from the opportunities that travel affords. Women in Los Angeles make shorter trips than men and women’s trips are more varied to more destinations and are more likely to primarily serve the needs of someone else (i.e. family members, etc.). Women are more likely to trip chain, that is, make stops along the way to other destinations — the reason some wait for a day when they have access to a car and can run all their errands at once. Women in Los Angeles are also more likely than men to travel mid-day, with a travel peak around 2 p.m. when transit service may be reduced. Women ride more public transit than men and over the years ridership among women has continued to grow, while male ridership continues to decrease. Almost 90 percent of female riders use the system more than three days per week. 57 percent of women bring their children on transit. Safety The women who responded to Metro’s survey identified safety concerns as the top barrier to riding transit. Those surveyed included current riders, former riders and those who have never ridden Metro. Safety was not the top concern among men. Sixty percent of female riders who participated in our survey feel safe riding Metro during the day, but that number falls to 20 percent at night. Many surveyed also said they don’t feel safe waiting at stops/stations or traveling to stops/stations. Concerns about safety are causing riders to alter their behavior – to consider their clothing choices or, for those who have other options, simply not ride transit. Here is an excerpt from the report: “Some women reported wearing sneakers on the bus or train in case they unexpectedly need to run from an assailant. They also said they would avoid wearing skirts because they did not want their bare skin to touch the seat and out of fear that men would sexually harass them. Women reported that they hide their jewelry on public transit due to fear that it may be stolen, and many shared stories of seeing people robbed on public transportation.” And this: “Over and over, participants in the workshops and pop-ups pointed to problems that could be solved by a deeper investment in lighting, more frequent service to produce shorter wait times, and other solutions at stops and stations.” Cost Although many women riders would qualify for low-income fare discounts, many do not pursue them or know about them. The $100 regular monthly pass offers discounts if used 58 or more times a month. But women told Metro they considered the monthly pass as too expensive and said they hesitated to buy one because they were uncertain whether it would be worth the expense. Navigating buses and trains Women were more likely than men to use elevators and escalators, as well as benches and other seating, and were observed to be traveling more frequently than men with bags, carts, strollers, and other items and people in their care. Older women and women traveling with children reported having a difficult time maneuvering with strollers and carts on the bus. Older women and women with limited mobility had difficulty moving through the aisle while buses were in motion. These groups were more likely to wait for the bus to come to a full stop before exiting the bus. They were also more likely to take the first seats that were available from the front of the bus. Some operators seemed aware and were accommodating and waited a few seconds before leaving a bus stop. Service and reliability The top three complaints filed by female Metro bus riders are all related to the reliability of the bus system — buses that fail to stop for riders, buses that never show up and late buses. Metro also heard numerous complaints about unreliable real-time information on station signs and cell phone apps. From the report: “These experiences cause women to alter their travel behavior — sometimes leaving hours ahead of time due to unreliable service, using ridesharing services instead of transit due to infrequent service at night, carrying a flashlight to ensure that they are not passed up by operators while waiting in the dark, or even sleeping at the bus stop because service does not start running until several hours after they get off work.” The next step for Metro is to develop a Gender Action Plan, which will: Pivot from research findings into actionable changes. Ensure that the agency’s policy, programs and activities include a gender perspective and to promote the considerations of gender issues at all levels. Reassess communications on board buses and trains and at stops and stations to create an environment that prioritizes safety and customer service, reduces sexual harassment and encourages women to report instances of harassment. Explore alternatives to the current fare policy to better accommodate families and low-income riders and to provide affordable options for trip-chaining. Investigate changes to station, stop and vehicle designs to better address the needs and concerns of women, including elements such as better lighting, seating at stops and stations, clearer sight-lines and more space on transit vehicles to accommodate strollers and carts. Evaluate services provided by time of day to understand how they can be adjusted to better meet women’s travel needs during midday and evening off-peak hours, including on-demand services such as Access. This blog was originally posted on Metro's The Source.
  11. Courtesy by Metro Magazine A new report, compiled by carpooling company, Scoop, offers key insights and a better understanding of the impact of lengthening commutes on American workers’ physical, financial, and emotional well-being. The State of the American Commute report, which highlights how commuting leads to lower productivity, higher costs, longer workdays, and different lifestyle choices, is based on a survey of more than 7,000 workers in 16 major metropolitan regions across the U.S. RELATED: NYC has longest commute via car and transit, study says "Nearly three-quarters of commuters in the U.S. drive alone to work today, and their commutes are getting longer — a paradigm that exists in part because American workers are increasingly finding it difficult to live close to where they work," said Rob Sadow, co-founder/CEO, Scoop. "As a result, commutes are getting more painful. Our research suggests that employers must find ways to support alternative commutes to mitigate the commute's impact on their employees' health, productivity, and satisfaction at work — ultimately helping to reduce attrition." Work Requirements, Cost of Living Responsible for Majority of Solo Commutes American workers have attempted alternative modes of transportation, such as public transit (37.9% of respondents), carpooling, (23.4%), or bicycling (12.8%), but many revert back to driving alone to work via single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) trips. The most common reasons cited for returning to driving alone are tied to respondents’ relationship with work: Almost one-quarter (24.7%) noted that a job change led them to solo commuting. Twenty-four percent cited a work location change. 17.6% said they work irregular hours. 13.8% need access to a car for their job, and 13.8% drive because of a work schedule change. "Nearly three-quarters of commuters in the U.S. drive alone to work today, and their commutes are getting longer," said Rob Sadow, co-founder/CEO, Scoop. Public DomainWhile work may force many to commute alone, the rising cost of living is making the drive to the office more arduous. With housing costs ballooning across many urban centers across the country, workers are being forced to live farther from their jobs and endure longer commute times: Almost half (49.4%) of workers have a one-way commute between five and 20 miles. Just one-quarter of workers live within five miles of their job. The average worker travels 28 minutes to work one-way, each day. Over a year, that represents 30 work days dedicated solely to commuting. Only nine percent of workers have commutes that take five minutes or fewer. RELATED: Why employers should care about employees' commute Commute Affects Well-Being, Job Choices Longer commutes are giving American workers pause about their own health, as well as their life decisions, such as choosing jobs. Almost one-third (32%) say the commute causes them stress, while two-thirds of workers said they can see how the commute causes stress among other people. Nearly two-thirds (62%) report not applying to jobs based on the commute due to location. Thirty percent have considered quitting their jobs based on their daily commute to a certain location. American workers also feel their lifestyles would be much healthier without the stresses of the commute: Thirty-one percent believe they would make healthier food choices if they had a shorter commute. Half of all workers would exercise more if they could reduce their commute times. More than one-third (37%) would get more sleep. Employers Should View Commute as Competitive Advantage The survey highlights that organizations must become aware and sensitive to the pains, challenges, and opportunities associated with employees’ commutes. More importantly, organizations must do more to proactively provide solutions that ultimately reduce the impact of the commute. Less than one-quarter (22.5%) of workers said their employer incentivizes alternative transportation modes. This research shows that offering a more robust range of commuting solutions is a benefit to employees and an advantage for employers. Incentives for using alternate modes of transportation empower commuters to take the stress not only off their wallets but off their minds as well. Respondents replied that the following incentives would encourage them to try different transportation modes: Free parking Flexible work schedules (including the ability to work from home) On-site locker rooms Subsidized transit Beyond these types of incentives, employers should also consider offering employees solutions that are flexible enough to meet the day-to-day needs of employees and support options for switching and tools to help employees make the switch easier, such as guaranteed rides home or automated carpool matching.
  12. 9-26-2019 Courtesy of Metro Magazine Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) broke ground on the new 26-mile Silver Line regional rail service from Plano to DFW International Airport. Opening in December 2022, the $1.1 billion project will provide passenger rail connections and service that will improve mobility, accessibility, and system linkages to major employment, population, and activity centers in the northern part of the DART Service Area. The Silver Line will traverse a total of seven cities: Grapevine, Coppell, Dallas, Carrollton, Addison, Richardson, and Plano. The Silver Line service will include 10 stations across the alignment, providing new transit opportunities for North Texas residents and delivering greater capacity and connectivity, spurring economic development, and supporting workforce development across the region. DART’s Silver Line will interface with three existing rail lines: The Red/Orange Lines in Richardson/Plano, the Green Line in Carrollton, and the Orange Line at DFW International Airport. In addition, at DFW International Airport, the project will connect to the Trinity Metro TEXRail Regional Rail Line to Fort Worth, providing passengers with the opportunity to travel 60 miles across the North Texas region.
  13. Courtesy by Metro Magazine MTA New York City Transit announced that the fines associated with bus lane violations captured using a new automated bus-mounted camera system will be subject to a new graduated fee structure starting at $50 and going up to $250 for repeat bus blockers. Cameras mounted on buses serving the M15 Select Bus Service route will begin capturing real-time violations starting October 7. NYC Transit is using an Automated Bus Lane Enforcement (ABLE) system on 51 buses that travel on the M15 SBS route using a dedicated bus lane implemented by the New York City Department of Transportation. ABLE camera systems can capture evidence such as license plate information, photos and videos, as well location and timestamp information, of vehicles obstructing bus lanes to document clear cases of bus lane violation. The system collects multiple pieces of evidence to ensure that vehicles making permitted turns from bus lanes are not ticketed. This information will be transmitted to NYCDOT for review and processing, and the program will be administered in partnership with NYCDOT and the NYC Department of Finance. Motorists who block bus lanes during the initial 60-day grace period are issued a warning, which does not carry a fine. After the grace period ends, motorists who continue to block bus lanes will be subject to a fine of $50 for the first violation, and for additional violations within a 12-month period: $100 for a second offense, $150 for a third offense, $200 for a fourth offense; and $250 for a fifth violation and each subsequent offense thereafter within a 12-month period. Each violation also carries a $25 late fee. The automated bus lane enforcement program will expand to the B44 SBS and M14 SBS by the end of November, with the ABLE system to be deployed on a total of 123 buses across the three routes. The proposed 2020-2024 Capital Plan includes $85 million for further expansion of the program. NYC Transit is working with NYCDOT and NYPD to increase bus lane enforcement in highly congested areas as part of NYC Transit’s Fast Forward plan to improve bus service, increase bus speeds and attract new ridership. Results so far have yielded faster bus speeds by as much as 19% on a portion of Fifth Avenue and as much as 30% near the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel’s Manhattan approach. Other strategies include redesigning every borough’s bus network to better meet customer needs, installing traffic signal priority technology, implementing more transit priority street designs, and deploying new modern buses with better reliability and customer amenities.
  14. Oct 2, 2019 Courtesy of Metro Magazine The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board awarded a $278.5 million contract to Hyundai-Rotem for the procurement of 80 new commuter rail bi-level coaches, which will increase capacity by over 14,000 seats daily. A $41 million contract for engineering and program management services for the project was also awarded to WSP USA Inc., in close cooperation with Keville Enterprises Inc. and VP Engineering Inc. Funded by the Commonwealth, the procurement will replace single-level coaches, address an immediate need for vehicles, and provide a more efficient way to add capacity. The bi-levels also include upgrades and improvements like LED lighting and the integration of positive train control; are compatible with the current fleet and infrastructure; and include an ease of maintenance. As these bi-levels are a reproduction of the current bi-level fleet, additional benefits include a workforce familiarity with the design; minimal operating and maintenance training required; guaranteed compatibility with the existing fleet; and minimal design impacts. The total cost of this vehicle procurement is $278.5 million with a total project budget, which includes professional services, force account, project administration, and more, of $345 million. The Notice to Proceed for the sole-source procurement of 80 coaches will be issued in October 2019 with the first of 80 anticipated to be delivered in September 2022 and the last anticipated in June 2024. In addition to the 80 coaches, the release of an RFP for additional bi-level coaches is anticipated for November 2019 with an award of procurement of up to 100 coaches, plus options, anticipated for November 2020. The first of those 100 coaches is anticipated to be delivered in July 2024 and the last in June 2027.
  15. Courtesy of Metro Magazine NJ TRANSIT's increased goal for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) for Federal Fiscal Years (FFY) 2020-2022 of 21.87% is now in effect. The goal of 21.87% is on the total federal financial assistance that NJ TRANSIT will expend on Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funded contracts, over the next three years. “It’s just one example of how we’re focused on developing a larger pool of qualified contractors who represent the diversity of the business community and the region we serve,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett. “We have so much talent in New Jersey and it’s in our best interest as an organization to cast as wide a net as possible. We want to ensure that all qualified businesses have the opportunity to participate in the procurement process.” In April, NJ TRANSIT held a public meeting where it announced its DBE goals for FFY 2020-2022. The agency took public comment at the meeting and engaged in a 30-day public comment period. At the meeting, prime contractors, small businesses, and DBE’s had the opportunity to hear about upcoming capital construction projects. NJ TRANSIT has $2.7 billion projected FTA-assisted contracting projects for FFY 2020-2022. Last year, NJ TRANSIT awarded $165 million in FTA funded contracts, and of that amount $31 million was awarded to DBE firms, representing a DBE participation rate of 19% for the year. This year, instead of hiring an outside firm to help create the new DBE goal, the project was accomplished in house, saving NJ TRANSIT $100,000.

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