Tag Archives: public transportation

TROUT Public Transit looks back at 2013 with mixed feelings

TROUT Rural Public TransitWe at TROUT Public Transit look back on 2013 with mixed feelings. We are thankful for the visionaries who support public transportation in our community – the municipal politicians, business owners, and others who know the value of public transportation for our non-driving friends and neighbours and for economic growth. They know that public transportation is a key component of sustainability for rural communities.

We are proud that rural communities throughout North America look to Trout Public Transit for counsel and inspiration for their public transportation initiatives. And we are deeply grateful to the Province of Ontario and Community Care North Hastings for their support and encouragement.

However, we have much work to do. We receive no support from the County of Hastings (future historians may be curious about that) and no support, or only token support, from seven of the eight municipalities we served last year.

Thank you to the Municipality of Highlands East in Haliburton County for your full support in 2013. We look forward to nurturing our relationship with you to address your public transportation needs.

Looking ahead, TROUT Public Transit remains committed to helping people in North Hastings and Highlands East access the goods and services they need to live with independence and dignity in our community.

Also, we will be seeking expanded support from local municipalities and the business community for the economic growth and development potential that a public transportation service offers. The extent of that support will dictate our direction in 2014 and beyond.

John Keith,  MA

Manager, Transportation Services

 

TROUT connects youth with Freedom Skate Park

Youth in Hastings Highlands now have an easy and affordable way to get to the Freedom Skate Park on Saturdays.

Each Saturday starting on May 25th the TROUT will pick up youth at the Hastings Highlands Centre at 9:30 a.m. Return fare to the Freedom Skate Park in Bancroft is only $5 and skateboards and BMX bikes are both welcome on the bus.

The TROUT will depart from the skate park in Bancroft for the return trip to Maynooth at 2 p.m.

The pilot program was developed to meet the needs of local youth who want a safe location to bike and board but who have had to rely on friends and family for rides to Bancroft on the weekend.

“Welcoming youth on public transportation will give them more freedom to get around North Hastings,” said John Keith, manager of transportation services at Community Care North Hastings. “We want our youth to feel comfortable and welcome on public transportation. We are also happy to support youth who want to get outside and be physically active.”

The special skate park student summer special will run through the summer as part of the special Saturday service that will deliver riders from Bancroft to the Maynooth Farmers Market each weekend.

For additional details:

Barbara Shaw

Community Care North Hastings

(613) 332-4700 x 23

Global Public Transit: Google Maps Now Empowered with Live Public Transit Information

Google Maps just keeps getting more powerful and more comprehensive. The latest enhancement to the tool is live transit information, which will be incredibly helpful to the masses of people who rely on public transportation to get around.

Google says that it now offers information for 100 million miles of daily public transit in 800 cities spread across 25 countries; that data includes everything from fares to departure times to estimated travel times.

Google Maps

There are more specific additions, too, including live departure times for seven lines of the subway in New York City and buses and trams in Salt Lake City as well as live service alerts for the Metrorail in Washington, D.C.

Google Maps

The Google Maps update is available for Android and iOS devices.

Source:HotHardware

International Public Transit: Home Values Performed 42 Percent Better When Located Near Public Transportation During Last Recession

WASHINGTON, DC –  Location, location, location near public transportation may be the new real-estate mantra according to a new study released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Data in the study reveals that during the last recession, residential property values performed 42 percent better on average if they were located near public transportation with high-frequency service.

“When homes are located near public transportation, it is the equivalent of creating housing as desirable as beach front property,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “This study shows that consumers are choosing neighborhoods with high-frequency public transportation because it provides access to up to five times as many jobs per square mile as compared to other areas in a given region. Other attractive amenities in these neighborhoods include lower transportation costs, walkable areas and robust transportation choices.” Continue reading

Global Public Transit: As U.S. Transit Fares Increase, Europe Starts to Make It Free

A tramway in Tallinn, Estonia in 1996 Credit:Flickr user Felix O

A tramway in Tallinn, Estonia in 1996 Credit:Flickr user Felix O

Public transportation ridership may have increased in 2012, but major transit agencies across the nation have picked an odd way to celebrate. On July 1, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), which serves the Philadelphia region, will increase fares. Meanwhile, New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) will, for the fourth time in five years, up its prices this weekend.

Seven time zones to the east, the Estonian capital of Tallinn has taken the opposite approach: In January, it entirely scrapped fares for city residents, although they must initially purchase a smart card. Those who live outside the city still have to pay fares. According to Reuters, the city decided a carrot in the form of free rides is the best way to deal with traffic congestion by luring drivers onto buses and trams. (A bit of stick has been applied, too, as cars are now barred from some roads and parking fees have increased.) The city government purchased 70 new buses and 15 new trams to meet the anticipated surge in demand. Three-quarters of Tallinn residents support the plan. Continue reading

A bigger tax break for those who take public transit

About 2.7 million families will benefit from the tax break for taking mass transit. Bebeto Matthews / AP

Transit riders will get a bigger tax break this year, thanks to a provision tucked into the legislation that averted a fall off the fiscal cliff.

As part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2013, Congress decided that for 2013 people who take mass transit to work will get the same pretax benefits as those who drive and pay to park their car. Both can set aside up to $245 a month to cover these expenses, if their employer offers such a plan.

That’s a big change from last year, when employees could set aside up to $240 a month to park, but only $125 a month for transit expenses. In 2011, the tax savings had been the same for parking or public transportation.

Now parity is back and that could mean more savings for transit commuters.

“Someone in the highest federal tax bracket – 30 to 39.6 percent – could save about $570 a year. Someone in the 15 percent tax bracket could save about $260 a year,” explained Lisa Greene-Lewis, lead CPA at the American Tax and Financial Center at TurboTax.

According to Bloomberg News, about 2.7 million families will benefit from this tax break.

“It’s not so much the dollar value; it’s the parity,” said Jon Martz, a vice president at vRide, which provides vanpool services in about 60 different urban areas in the country. “Why give people an incentive to commute in single occupancy cars? Give them a benefit of equal value for choosing to take public transportation, if they can do it.”

And there’s more good news. Congress made the change retroactive. It’s as if the higher limit of $240 had been in effect for transit riders all last year. The IRS already gave employers guidance on how to put that money back into their employees’ paychecks.

If you used this program last year and didn’t see an adjustment in your paycheck to cover the reimbursement, talk to your employer. If you haven’t been told about the higher limits for 2013 and want to put more aside, contact human resources.

Moving forward

The fiscal cliff deal only guaranteed an equal tax break for commuters who drive and those who take public transit for 2013. Those who support public transportation want this provision to be permanent.

“We need Congress to act to finally make the transit and the parking benefits equal so that all commuters are on a level playing field,” said Steven Higashide, a senior planner at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a non-profit watchdog group that serves New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. “This will create an incentive for transit riders and take more cars off the road.”

Frank Linkchorst, an aerospace engineer in California, agrees. He rides a vanpool weekdays from his home in El Segundo to work in Los Angeles 38 miles away. It’s cheaper and faster than being in a car.

“Anything that encourages people to rideshare is helpful,” he told me. “With 10 of us in that van, that’s nine fewer cars on the road at any given time – and that helps everybody.”

More Information:

Authour: Herb Weisbaum is The ConsumerMan. Follow him on Facebookand Twitter or visit The ConsumerMan website.

Source: LifeInc

A better way to build public transit? Start by asking how taxpayers are going to pay for it

How do you get 2.7 million people’s heads around the idea of paying for transit? Here’s a start: Nobody say “subways.”

Both the City of Toronto and its provincial overlords are on a mission for 2013: Sell the public on the idea that if they want less gridlock—which is to say, more public transit—then they’re going to have to pay for it with taxes, tolls or levies.

But what the city’s not doing this time around is even more telling. Historically, transit expansion starts with politicians drawing hopeful lines on a map and then trying to find ways to pay for those lines. This has led to decades of transit fiascos as plans got drawn, redrawn, hacked to bits and then finally half-built. Continue reading

Citizens curious about future of public transportation

Dawson County Transit Bus

LEXINGTON – Approximately 40 people filled the Dawson County Commissioners board room Friday as the commissioners looked to provide a clearer path for the future of the county’s public transportation system.

The public hearing regarding the agenda item was split into two different categories, the first being possible raises in fare prices and the second being whether or not the county would continue to spearhead the endeavor or turn administration duties over to Ryde, which provides transportation to six different counties.

The discussion was part of the regular Dawson County Board of Commissioners’ meeting. Continue reading

CUTA Releases Report on the Value Case for Accessible Transit in Canada

(Source:Marketwire) – The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) has released its new report on the Value Case for Accessible Transit in Canada. The study, which highlights the economic and social benefits of accessible transit in Canada, has been developed with the underlying key themes of universal accessibility, inclusion, strong vibrant communities, and health.
“This study provides the first value case account of accessible transit in Canada and is an important first step in continuing to evaluate the benefits of such services in our society,” says Lorna Stewart, Director of Edmonton Transit Disabled Adult Transit Services (DATS).
This report shows that the case for providing accessible transit is supported by a broad spectrum of annual monetary benefits to the national economy. “The most significant benefit identified in the report was on the income that can be generated by increased labour force participation, and its resulting potential to generate millions in GDP output and in additional tax base,” says CUTA President and CEO Michael Roschlau. This economic activity represents an important contributor to the vitality of communities across the country.
The report shows that the number of seniors in Canada is forecast to more than double from 4.0 million to 9.9 million between 2006 and 2036. From an aging population point of view, investments in accessible transit will be crucial, particularly when looking at health policy linkages. “It will be important for decision makers across the country to view these linkages as a whole and draw insights from them to ensure proper investments are in place to support age friendly cities and communities,” says Lorna Stewart.

Background:
CUTA is the collective and influential voice of public transportation in Canada, dedicated to being at the centre of urban mobility issues with all orders of government, and delivering the highest value to its members and the communities they serve. CUTA is the national association representing public transit systems, suppliers to the industry, government agencies, individuals and related organizations in Canada.
For a full copy of the Infrastructure report go to: http://cutaactu.ca/en/publicaffairs/resources/CUTAReport_ValueCaseforAccessibleTransitinCanada.pdf