Transport PASSENGER

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  • THE SOURCE FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION NEWS AND ANALYSIS

    TransportPASSENGERMARTA Opens Two FacilitiesThe Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) recently commemorated the openings of the renovated Brady Mobil-ity Facility and a MARTA Police Department (MPD) precinct in Clayton County in separate events.

    Following a $51 million overhaul, the Brady facilitywhich originally opened in 1974 as MARTAs base for bus and maintenance opera-tionsis a LEED Silver facility that houses more than 400 employees, 15 repair bays, five fuel-ing stations, three vehicle-washing bays and an employee wellness center, as well as parking for vehicles, employees and visitors. FTA contributed $32 million toward the renovation.

    At the Jan. 25 ribbon-cutting ceremony, MARTA General Manager/Chief Executive Officer Keith T. Parker said, Were getting a firsthand look at a brand new Brady that will have a positive impact on Mobility [para-transit] employees and ultimately, mobility customers. With this facility, we want to help make sure that those customers who wouldnt be able to run errands or get to their appointments can. This facility is an investment in our employees and our cus-tomers. MARTA also honored the memory of Sharon Crenchaw, its longtime Mobility

    manager, in remarks at the event. The new police precinct in Clayton County,

    dedicated Jan. 22, occupies approximately 4,000 square feet in a building located next to a shopping mall, one of several business and resi-dential destinations along MARTAs bus routes in the area.

    We appreciate the spirit of cooperation, said MARTA Police Chief Wanda Y. Dunham at the opening. The formation of the precinct involved the cooperation of county law enforcement and the Clayton County Board of Commissioners along with MPD, in addition to support from the residents of the county.

    I said, You know, were missing an opportunity here, recalled Thomas, a former APTA chair and currently vice chair of the Mobility Manage-ment Committee. We talked afterward and I said that we really ought to get together and talk about synergies and opportunities that would ben-efit both of us.

    That led DART to join with the private e-hail taxi service on an arrangement in which the company offered

    discounted rides on St. Patricks Day to help revelers get to and from rail stations or other loca-tions on what typically is the agencys busiest day of the year. It marked one of the earliest partnerships between public transit and a private transporta-tion network company (TNC)and has been followed by a growing assortment of other arrangements.

    Connecting the Sectors

    Houston Displays CNG Buses, OpensFueling StationHOUSTONS METROPOLITAN TRANSIT Authority of Harris County (METRO) unveiled 50 new CNG-powered buses at an event Jan. 26 that also marked the opening of one of the states largest CNG refueling stations.

    The CNG-powered buses from North American Bus Industries join METROs fleet of 1,220 buses, which include clean diesel and hybrid vehicles. METRO partnered with Freedom CNG, a Texas-based alternative fuel provider, which built the fueling station.

    METRO Board Member Jim Robinson stated that the agency is moving toward CNG to pro-

    mote clean air initiatives. He cited EPA statistics showing that CNG-fueled vehicles produce about 20 percent less carbon dioxide and 70 percent less carbon monoxide than their diesel-fueled counterparts.

    The low floor bus design incorporates large windows and a more spacious interior, allow-ing greater mobility for wheelchairs and other devices. An electrically operated flip-out ramp eases boarding. The buses also feature LEDs for the front and side destination signs and virtually all bus interior and exterior lighting.

    PRTC Operates New State-Funded Bus RoutesTHE POTOMAC AND Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC), Wood-bridge, VA, began operating two new OmniRide commuter bus routes to the Mark Center in Alexandria, located in suburban Washington, DC, on Feb. 1, fully funded by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT).

    The morning and afternoon

    rush hour routes originate in the outer suburbs of the met-ropolitan area, approximately

    20 miles south of the Mark Center, and operate on I-95 express lanes. The Mark Center currently houses the Depart-

    ment of Defenses Washing-ton Headquarters Services and other agencies in the

    MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8 , 2016 | VOLUME 74, NO. 3

    Representatives of Houston METRO and Freedom CNG gather to welcome the agencys 50 new CNG buses at one of the

    largest refueling stations in Texas.

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    Weaving A New Transit Network

    CONNECTING THE SECTORS CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

    PRTC ROUTES CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

    BY CHUCK McCUTCHEON

    When Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) President/Executive Director Gary Thomas appeared on a local transpor tation panel in 2014, he struck up a conversation with another panelista regional representative of Uber.

    Clayton County officials join MARTA General Manager/Chief

    Executive Officer Keith T. Parker and MARTA Police Chief Wanda Y.

    Dunham to cut the ribbon at MTDs new precinct in the county.

  • 8 | Passenger Transport February 8, 2016 | 9

    APTAs Policy Framework on Integrated Mobility, Transformative TechnologiesTHE APTA BOARD OF DIRECTORS recently adopted a policy framework and statement of principles related to the increase of technology-driven mobility ser-vices, the growing array of mobility choices and the rapid advances in autonomous vehicles and other systems.

    The framework addresses several core principles:

    1. Ensure Accessibility: Providers in the transportation network must provide access for all and be driven by the need for social inclusion and environmental justice in our transportation system.

    2. Encourage Innovation and Entrepreneurship: The public transportation community welcomes new tech-nologies, new ideas, new players, new business prac-tices and new business models. Public transportation systems will lead, adapt, collaborate and reposition as appropriate.

    3. Promote Integration and Coordination: Mobility providers and services must all work together as com-ponents of an integrated transportation system. Tran-sit is positioned to serve as its backbone. Given their public orientation, transit agencies are positioned to serve as integrators of these new mobility services, and transit executives as leaders and champions of collaboration.

    4. Establish One-Stop Shopping for the Complete Trip: The wide array of mobility strategies must be communicated clearly, understood easily and available through an accessible clearinghouse. Integrated pay-

    ment systems should be pursued. Customers should be able to plan and pay for their full trip through a facile, transparent process and single platform. Con-venient, stress-free trip planning and payment should extend to the full range of trip purposes.

    5. Encourage Sharing and Cooperation: Sharing anonymous data or providing open data should be an aspirational goal for all parties.

    6. Identify Opportunities to Capitalize on Technol-ogy: New technologies may be applied by transit agencies to facilitate environmental, economic and social goals. Transit agencies should integrate new mobility providers into first-mile/last-mile strategies, new paratransit alternatives, etc., to help achieve new efficiencies where it makes economic, operational and customer service sense.

    7. Provide Appropriate Public Oversight: Safety for customers and community and public responsibil-ity by transportation providers should be expected. However, public oversight should avoid being a regu-latory roadblock to innovative services and mobility solutions.

    8. Invest in the Required Infrastructure: New mobil-ity technologies will require Intelligent Transportation Systems and other forms of infrastructure. Such needs must be quantified and appropriate investments made as additions to federal, state and local programs. Addi-tional policy and program adjustments may also be required.

    9. Develop Understanding and Best Practices: Thepublic transportation industry and its partners should conduct new research, ask questions, share best practices and lessons learned, understand disparate impacts by system size and income levels, establish cross-industry dialogue and develop a better understanding of big-picture impacts.

    10. Identify New Business Markets, Partnerships and Membership: Businesses and mobility services emerging in the new mobility marketplace should look to APTA as a trade association worthy of their time, investment and membership. APTA members will benefit from working closely with technology companies, new startups and contractors.

    11. Assure the Ongoing Availability of Public Trans-portation Services: It is in the public interest that transit services emerge stronger. Consider how new governance models, aimed at the broad, over-arching mission of mobility, might be an appropriate evolution for transit agencies.

    12. Protect the Privacy of Passengers and Custom-ers: New technologies bring new considerations regarding how to collect and safeguard sensi-tive passenger data. Transit agencies must adopt appropriate technologies to keep personal data protected and review and revise open records statues and regulations to ensure that suchdata remain private.

    Connecting the Sectors

    IN-DEPTHcompany has seen its technology yield promising results with several college shuttle-bus services.

    Whats its weakness? Cost. Its not going to take you 20 miles. But its perfect for a one-, two- or three-mile trip that might take 15 minutes. Thats where were excited about the poten-tial of thist