Seattle Leading the Way with Increase in Transit Ridership

Seattle Leading the Way with Increase in Transit Ridership

When it comes to public transit, the city of Seattle is in a good place.

Recent studies have shown that the citizens of the city are utilizing public transport in record numbers. In 2017 alone, the Metro bus system transported a record 122.2 million riders, the Sound Transit Link light rail system carried a record 23.2 million riders, and 9.6 million passengers chose the Metro-operated Sound Transit Express service.

When it comes to these popular forms of transport, the people have made their voices heard, and the city has listened.

Per King County Executive, Dow Constantine: “People wanted more bus and light rail options, and we delivered. More service means more riders. From operators to transit planners and engineers, we are focusing our energy and resources to meet the demand, and we will deploy more bus service and other innovations on the streets this year and beyond, including more connections to light rail as we further expand the regional network.”

The city’s transportation services can only improve from here, and officials look forward to continued expansion. The new budget going into 2018 will include $30 million that will be attached to any crowding, reliability and service expansion needs.

In addition, this money will go towards an increase of 300,000 annual hours of bus service while also improving weekday all-day service to 10-minutes or better. The funds will also go towards encouraging youngsters to take public transit with the Youth ORCA Program that ORCA cards to teens that are income-eligible.

As far as the various other forms of mass transit are concerned, the numbers speak for themselves with the RapidRide A-F lines seeing an increase of 4.2 percent, light rail ridership up 22 percent over 2016, and 75 percent of morning commuters reporting that they now use trains, buses, bikes, and vanpools as their chosen route of travel each and every day.

Here at Northwest Bus Sales, we have been emphasizing the importance of public transportation for the past 27 years. We sell new and used school, shuttle and trolley buses for the many tour and charter markets in Seattle. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

Ford Launches New Shuttle Bus Service App

Ford Launches New Shuttle Bus Service App

A trial of a Ford-operated, commuter ride-share service app was approved for launch in London this past January.

Chariot, the business providing the ride share services through the app, will allow passengers to pay a premium over a regular bus fare price for pre-booked trips running along four routes.

As shared mobility services reach all-time popularity levels, vehicle manufacturers such as Ford are turning away from a traditional industry platform and toward a more user-friendly model.

The ride-share service is part of an effort to ramp up what Ford calls their microtransit plan. The use of the Chariot app is intended to work in cooperation with London’s already established public transportation system in order to offer “in-app ride booking for first and last-mile commuting solutions, and the potential to reach underserved areas,” according to a spokesperson from Ford.

Chariot is Europe’s first commuter shuttle service, with 14 minibuses slated to operate in bus lanes which will run along designated routes. These routes will generally be located south of Thames and in areas without tube stations like Battersea.

Following the release of news, Transport for London has stated that they plan to work with other technology companies to provide missing transportation links in the English territory. Ford joins the ranks of other vehicle manufacturers who are hopping on the experimental bus servicing trend like BMW, who has sponsored the Drive Now car sharing program.

Ford is currently operating the Chariot app from San Francisco, New York, Austin, Seattle, and the newest city addition, Columbus, Ohio.

Northwest Bus Sales has been offering customers the greatest brands in the transportation industry for over 27 years. Regardless of whether you are interested in purchasing a trolley bus, shuttle bus, or highway coach, we can assure you that you will find a solution that works for you when you browse our selection of new or used buses for sale.

Trends in Public Transit across the Country for 2018

Former Tesla Employee Making Electric City Buses

2018 is the year of public transit’s revival, as cities nationwide increasingly look to limit congestion, cut back on car exhaust, and make their streets more enjoyable for everyone. With the push to go green, focusing new attention on public transit, especially in regards to buses, will be instrumental in future development.

The first major trend involves the experimentation of BRT, or what’s known as bus rapid transit. In Indianapolis, work will begin this year on a 13-mile rapid transit line which will run across the city. When done, buses are expected to pick up passengers from stops every ten minutes, providing an easy and reliable ride for thousands of people. Similar projects, including bus-only lanes, are popping up in cities nationwide, including Chicago and New York.

Next up is what everyone’s been talking about lately: self-driving cars. 2018 is expected to be the year when AVs (automated vehicles) make their splash onto the markets, and we finally start to see their potential impact on our daily lives take shape. In New York, GM will soon be piloting its Chevy Bolts on the city’s streets, with the hopes of launching a robo-taxi service soon. So it’s only a matter of time that cities start to experiment with self-driving buses.

The last trend to watch out in public transit for has to do with accessibility, and how we pay for our rides. Uber and other rideshares introduced us to paying with transportation by smartphone, and this is only the beginning of what’s possible with new technology. Many cities are looking into technology known as ‘Mobility as a Service’ technology (MaaS), or using your smartphone to pay for all public transit ride options available in an area. That means tickets will go by the wayside, and you’ll be able to use one app for everything—cab, bus, and even subway.

Convenience and innovation is what the future is all about, and Northwest Bus Sales plans to be there every step of the way. Take a look at our inventory of new and used buses for sale today.

Pittsburgh Leads Nation in Transit Ridership Numbers

Pittsburgh Leads Nation in Transit Ridership Numbers

While many U.S. cities find their public transportation systems in decline, Pittsburgh is one of the few cities bucking the trend, according to a recent article in urbanist publication, CityMetric. The Steel City’s public transit system is the 26th largest in the nation, and boasts a usage rate that is a staggering 92 percent above the national average.

How has Pittsburgh been able to accomplish this? CityMetric describes a number of combined efforts by Pittsburgh’s local government and port authority to be proactive in addressing, then remedying issues. The article posits that other major cities could benefit by taking Pittsburgh’s lead.

Pittsburgh has been fortunate in that it has not been as adversely affected by ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft as many other U.S. cities. But, even in instances where ride-sharing has cut into public transit ridership, Pittsburgh’s Port Authority has made efforts to co-exist with them.

One simple example of this is the installation of luggage racks on buses whose routes carry passengers to and from Pittsburgh International Airport, in an effort to entice riders who preferred ride-sharing to public transportation because they previously found it inconvenient to carry and store luggage on a bus.

Additionally, Pittsburgh’s Port Authority has developed a “bus-to-bike” program to create a more economical option to ride-sharing. Through this program, bus riders can opt to get off at an earlier stop and take a bike from the city’s bike share program for the rest of their ride, for no additional charge.

Pittsburgh’s commitment to not only remain vigilant regarding issues with public transportation, but to take swift and effective action to address them, is why it has excelled while many other cities are failing. Its success is currently in jeopardy due to budget cuts to Pittsburgh’s Port Authority, but, as the article concludes, the city’s proven ability to adapt and find solutions is likely to serve it and its many daily riders well through the challenges that lie ahead.

Northwest Bus Sales is committed to helping you find a solution to your transportation problem. Call us at 1-800-231-7099 to find out more about our fleet of passenger buses.