Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Department of Transportation
Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced 22 high-speed rail projects and inter-city station improvements. The largest investment will be made along the Northeast Corridor, but there are substantial projects in the Midwest and on the West Coast. DOT published a press release with amounts listed by project.

Taxi Possibilities for Senior Citizens

National Center on Senior Transportation
NCST issued Taxis for Senior Transportation, a 16-page publication discussing the opportunities for improving taxi service for those over 65 years old. Topics covered include attitudes of drivers and older people about each other, different models for subsidized service and the taxi advantage of flexible operations. For example, in some places, family, friends or non-profits can purchase a ticket book that enables a person to particular service. A rural program is described as allowing for flexible booking of a ride along a particular route - akin to a deviated route, but operated by a taxi company. Accessible cabs are discussed in detail.
Several factors hamper efforts to improve accessible taxi services. Accessible taxis are more expensive to purchase and operate when compared to sedans, and it may take additional time to serve a customer using a wheelchair. Higher vehicle costs and lower productivity may serve as a disincentive to drivers whose incomes are based on passenger fares.
NCST is a technical assistance center administered by Easter Seals Inc., in partnership with the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. Hal Morgan of the Taxi, Limousine, and Paratransit Association contributed to the publication.

ITS Webinar

Department of Transportation
DOT is hosting Public Transit Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Implementations – Lessons Learned, a webinar to be held on June 2, 2011, about the institutional coordination, procurement, implementation, and operation of Transit ITS for fixed route and paratransit systems. There will also be discussion of suggested methods to avoid lengthy technology deployments.

Local Story

Mountain Line Transit in Missoula, MT., added free Wi-Fi to its service. On the inaugural day, riders checked emails and facebook on the bus.