The public transit industry is constantly buzzing with updates! Especially with all of the new technology, and policy announcements. To help you keep up with all the public transit news, we’ve gathered some of the top stories this month that you should keep on your radar.
No public transportation is a “no go” for big companies looking to expand
Everyone knows that Amazon has been looking for a new host city for their second headquarters since 2017. They’ve narrowed down their search with deciding factors to play a part in their decision. Amazon wants future employers to have the option of using public transit that’s close to large airports for travel and commuter flexibility. Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, says that Dallas is still on the list when narrowing down their search and lack of public transportation turns off Amazon in its search for a second headquarters.
Another high-profile company – Mary Kay Inc. – was recently on the hunt for a new manufacturing facility and chose Lewisville due to employee and logistical considerations such as employee drive time, public transportation and proximity to major railroads. At DCTA, we’re working strategically with Mary Kay to connect their employee base to alternative mobility solutions for an easier commute to Lewisville – one of our member cities.
Public transportation is important for the future, and with Denton and Collin counties projected to be the nation’s fasted growing economies over the next five years, it is our commitment to offer more alternative transportations options to improve the quality of life where our residents live, work and play. We’ve played a major role in keeping Denton County competitive for all future business attractions and will continue to work to provide innovative mobility solutions for the many communities we serve.
Self-driving cars a reality in North Texas this summer
The future is here and it has self-driving cars! The California-based self-driving car company Drive.ai recently announced a pilot program to bring an on-demand self-driving car service to Frisco, Texas. Beginning in July 2018, they will be working in cooperation with the new Frisco Transportation Management Association (TMA) (in which DCTA is a part of this partnership) to provide rides to 10,000 people within a geofenced area comprised of retail, entertainment and office space. We are the program administrators and are working closely with Drive.Ai and the City of Frisco to bring autonomous cars to one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation.
The pilot program will last six months and will have fixed pickup and drop-off locations around HALL Park and The Star. Later this year, the program will expand to Frisco Station. Leading up to the July 2018 pilot launch date, office employees, residents, and patrons of these partners’ Frisco developments will gradually be placed on-board into the program. Once the program is live, riders will use the Drive.ai app to hail complimentary on-demand rides in self-driving cars that connect to popular destinations in one of Frisco’s most lively areas.
“Super commuters” are a thing and on the rise
They may not have capes, but for the nearly four million riders that use public transit up to 90 minutes daily, the term “super commuter” helps identify their name. These riders usually occupy large cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Washington D.C. While super commuters still represent a small share of overall commuters, long commutes are growing more common. Increasing the share of residents using public transportation is better for the environment and public transit produces lower greenhouse gas emissions than driving a vehicle.
Each day, the average American breathes in two gallons of air of per minute. That equals 3,400 gallons of air each day. Inhaling air pollution on a regular basis can shorten your life by up to two years. Air pollution caused by traffic also increases the risk for a heart attack. Public transportation produces 95 percent less carbon monoxide per mile compared to personal vehicles. For DCTA riders, that also limits the amount of money spent on gas a year in the DFW area, so super commuters really are super!
Have a question about any of these news stories or interested in another transit topic? Comment below to share your thoughts with us!