The year is almost over, but public transit news never is! We may be getting ahead of ourselves since it’s only October, but being prepared is always a good thing, right? We have the latest trending topics in the transit world. Check out the facts and stories for this month.
The United States lacks in transit compared to the rest of the world
New York City is the only U.S. city that has increased ridership since 2012. We carry the fewest rail passengers a year only accounting for 3.7 billion of the 53 million around the world. Asia, Europe and Latin America’s ridership have all significantly increased compared to the U.S. There’s popular transit systems sure, but with a lot of issues that arise such as safety or function, it’s a wonder America is a car-driven society. Now don’t get us wrong, new projects and innovations have been done in the recent years, but the next generation’s values have shifted to clean air and decongested roads. Even still, most end up just driving due to time.
Here at DCTA, we strive to seek out new riders and want to make sure any issues our passengers face are seen, heard and dealt with accordingly. Providing innovative mobility solutions is one of our top priorities as our mission is to provide safe, customer focused and efficient mobility solutions for Denton County. We’ve working hard to increase ridership with the intent of creating and maintaining a system that operates safely as possible.
Reverse commutes can help reshape rail ridership
On the bright side of things, there’s optimistic solutions to ridership. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) saw that their ridership was low in numbers for working citizens commuting from the suburbs to the city. They decided to partner up with Keolis, a pilot fish tech company working with transit agencies, on a revenue-incentive agreement to increase ridership and revenue by having reverse commutes available. Reverse commute is a round trip regularly taken from a suburban area to the urban one. It offers more availability to their suburban working class whose jobs were mostly located downtown. That also doubles clean air solutions.
We have reverse commute from our Downtown Denton Transit Center (DDTC) to the Trinity Mills station that connect riders to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) which can get you to downtown Dallas. We own and operate multiple new train rails that are the updated Stadler cards versus our old train rails that were given from DART. At the end of our schedule they go to the same train homes at an off-route location. Our train rails only have two cars, but with multiple trains we can accommodate many plenty of ridership with our reverse commutes.
Free public transit rides for a day could lead to increased ridership
The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (SDMTS) teamed up with their city council chains to promote a free day of riding for the community. The Metropolitan Transit System board said that promoting the event would mean cleaner air (once again) and riders would be saving money on gas and parking costs. This would indeed mean that ridership should go up. Their mayor Kevin Faulconer believes the free riders would support the city’s efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions that usually come from people driving cars and trucks.
We’ve had and still have a lot of free options for different riders (University A-train program and our A-train free fare zones). For special events such as our A-train anniversary, we’ve offered free rides to the general public. Is this something you think we should do on a more consistent basis?
We told you there was a lot going on this month in the public transit world! Do you have a question about any of these news stories or interested in another transit topic? Comment below to share your thoughts with us.