This could easily be the best of times and the worst of times. Change is in the air and so is the way Americans think about public transportation. Transit ridership is up and the demand remains high. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reports more than 2.6 billion trips on public transportation in the first quarter of 2009.
ntercity Transit, Olympia, WA, serves a population of 150,000 within 97 square miles in the Puget Sound region. In early 2001 Intercity Transit faced the loss of 40 percent of its revenue due to the elimination of the State of Washington Motor Vehicle Excise Tax. Following a difficult 40 percent reduction in service and staff, the board rededicated itself to a six-year strategic plan to finance and restore its services, and strengthen the role of Intercity Transit in the community. Voters approved doubling the local sales tax for public transportation in 2002. Service restoration began in early 2003 with new services focused on establishing high-frequency corridors and more direct access.
It is somewhat easy to understand why those sleek silver and purple buses that connect to METRO light rail service at Sycamore Station in Mesa, AZ, were upstaged on December 27, 2008.
With the much-celebrated grand opening of the new 20-mile light rail system, the new Valley Metro LINK bus rapid transit (BRT) service quietly began its own operations giving thousands of celebrants passage to the grand opening festivities at METRO’s most visited station.
Jason Pollard, a quick thinking operator for Connecticut Transit (CTTRANSIT), Hartford, CT, and a team of supervisors faced a bizarre scene an agency could never anticipate. Deadheading an empty bus to his route start one early morning in late January, Pollard encountered a man and a woman in the breakdown lane running toward him. As she approached, he realized the woman was trying to escape a frenzied attacker.