TransitCenter

  1. Since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the city's transit recovery has been sluggish and asymmetrical. The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) made the decision to prioritize streetcar restoration and expansion at the expense of bus service, limiting economic mobility for residents. As a result, even today the average New Orleanian with a car can reach 86 percent of the region’s jobs in 30 minutes or less, but the average New Orleanian relying on transit can only reach 11 percent of those jobs in the same time period.

    The advocacy group Ride New Orleans formed in 2009 out of a growing sense that the comfort of the average New Orleanian wasn't being prioritized by the RTA. In just a few short years, the group is already setting the transit agenda. Ride has organized bus riders into a powerful force, releasing influential State of Transit reports and sparking policy changes at the RTA such as increased bus frequency and overnight service.

    But perhaps most importantly, they've strengthened communication channels between riders and the transit agency. The RTA recently released its Strategic Mobility Plan with a specific to do list of improvements. It largely is informed by contributions from transit riders.

    But don't just take our word for it - watch for yourself!

    # vimeo.com/254076736 Uploaded 903 Plays 0 Comments
  2. New York is facing its most serious transportation challenge in decades.

    Subway reliability is way down, and the bus system is shedding riders at an alarming rate. And because transit is so unreliable, today New York is accommodating growth in cars, in the form of the tens of thousands of Uber and Lyft vehicles we now find on our streets each day.

    It's difficult to even list all the reasons why shifting transportation growth into cars in New York City is a bad thing. Choking the economy with congestion, safety concerns, making slow bus service even worse, poorer air quality - you name it.

    For our latest Streetfilm, we spoke with leaders in New York's transportation, labor and business communities to get their take on this alarming trend - a problem "screaming for a solution."

    # vimeo.com/247866390 Uploaded 8,622 Plays 0 Comments
  3. Half of transit trips in America are made on buses.

    But over the past several years, nearly every major US city has witnessed dramatic declines in bus ridership.

    Some blame may go to low gas prices and new services like Uber. But transit advocates think bus service is declining because of longstanding policy neglect, and that something can and ought to be done about it. They’re pushing elected officials and transit agencies to apply changes like bus lanes, all-door boarding and traffic signal priority.

    These kinds of policy changes require political attention and will, which will only be obtained through a groundswell of public support. To give voice to bus riders, a new generation of bus campaigners are now canvassing buses, bus stop and transit hubs to hear from and organize riders. We were able to spend sometime with organizations in New York City (Riders Alliance), Boston (LivableStreets) and Chicago (Active Transportation Alliance) to find out what is new there and how they are encouraging volunteers and city leaders to make improvements to their systems.

    Buses are a relatively inexpensive and flexible form of transit that American cities could be making much better use of. Thanks to many new advocacy campaigns, we think we’ll see buses turning around.

    # vimeo.com/233243376 Uploaded 1,443 Plays 0 Comments
  4. “The City of Seattle can’t handle any more cars than we currently have. Our mode split needs to go from 30% single occupancy vehicle to 25%, and the lions share of that is going to be carried on the bus.”

    -Scott Kubly, Director, Seattle Department of Transportation

    Seattle, one of the fastest growing cities in America, is making bold investments to ensure the majority of its residents live within walking distance of frequent transit. The city’s efforts are paying off – both bus and rail ridership have seen huge gains in recent years, and 70% of trips to downtown Seattle are now made by people outside of private vehicles. And as a measure of confidence, Seattle voters approved the $900 million Move Seattle transportation levy in 2015 and followed up by supporting the regional Sound Transit 3, a $50 billion rail expansion in 2016.


    Seattle is demonstrating how rail and buses can work in tandem to build a fast, frequent and reliable network that encourages people to use transit. A key factor for this success is city government playing an active role forging transit improvements, not taking a back seat to county and regional transit agencies. Seattle’s experience demonstrates that when agencies create clear transportation priorities, provide thoughtful, goal-oriented planning and deliver good transit service, ridership goes up and a firm foundation of public support can be established.

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  5. The unsung hero of San Francisco is the humble city bus, which moves more than 400,000 people through the city every day. This didn’t happen by accident – the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) have taken a systematic, rider-centric approach to improving bus service across the city.

    This policy and implementation effort, dubbed “Muni Forward,” has been bolstered by a $500 million dollar injection of funding approved by voters in 2014, which enabled new capital investments to improve transportation access in an already service-rich city.

    Muni Forward comprises a suite of service improvements, including dedicated bus lanes (“red carpets”), the first implementation of all-door boarding in a major American transit system, stop consolidation, transit signal priority, and the branding of a Rapid Network of bus routes in high impact corridors.

    Though some of the bus lane projects have been controversial in San Francisco, it’s important to acknowledge the smart policy-making and intent behind Muni Forward. The city is attempting to optimize its transit resources by prioritizing transit on streets, making transit easy to use and conducting a rolling review of routes and stops.

    Bus ridership has increased in recent years as population has continued to grow, which has been essential as congestion has worsened and cost of living continues to rise. Even as the Bay Area increases its investments in BART rail extensions andPhase 2 of the Transbay Transit Center, Muni Forward demonstrates the city’s recognition of the essential role that buses will continue to play to ensure that Bay Area residents can get where they need to go.

    The SFMTA’s comprehensive approach to improving bus service across the city should be a model for other cities across the country.

    # vimeo.com/204494114 Uploaded 1,740 Plays 0 Comments

TransitCenter

STREETFILMS PRO

In 2016, Streetfilms' is producing a number of transportation shorts for TransitCenter

TransitCenter's mission:

We spark innovations and support policies that improve public transportation for riders, businesses and communities. Better urban transit…


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In 2016, Streetfilms' is producing a number of transportation shorts for TransitCenter

TransitCenter's mission:

We spark innovations and support policies that improve public transportation for riders, businesses and communities. Better urban transit and increased ridership – along with housing affordability, good community design, equitable economic development, and other low-carbon modes of transportation such as walking and biking – are essential ingredients in urban vitality. Improving mobility for all will better the environment and public health through cleaner air and reduced carbon pollution, bolster the economy and increase access to jobs, and contribute to social equity and stronger mixed-use neighborhoods.

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