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Roundup: July Public Transit Chatter
July 20, 2018
The mass transit industry is constantly changing with new ideas and innovative ways to serve riders. To say up-to-date on latest in public transit news, check out our top stories this month!
Free public transit is great – but more alternatives need to be in place
Estonia is a northern European country that just rolled out free transportation to their riders to connect their rural parts to the Capitol, Tallinn. They afford free transit through government subsidies, higher parking fees and taxes. This, at first, have riders satisfied, but the domino effect of what happens over time is the reason why free public transit can’t last. With rising costs of parking, people are abandoning their cars to use free public transit. The population of transit grows, which means the need for maintaining and continuing the care of public transit must be paid for.
The idea of free transit sounds ideal, but for it to work, there would have to be other alternatives than creating a no-car usage society. Cause if there’s less cars being used, then a chunk of money from costs of parking will go down resulting in less money to fuel free transit.
It may seem impossible, that doesn’t mean that affordable prices can’t be. At DCTA, we strive to remove any potential barriers to people riding our system which means offering discount fare promotions for our riders. At the end of August, we’re launching our university A-train free ride promotion for students, faculty and staff of the University of North Texas (UNT), North Central Texas College (NCTC) and Texas Woman’s University TWU. Starting Monday, August 27, they will be able to ride our A-train for free with their school ID’s.
Ride-hailing services could improve public transit
What is ride-hailing? It’s the act of commanding a car and driver to instantly commute you to your destinations. In today’s age, we can access this ability from our smartphone on apps like Lyft or Uber. It’s been known that these companies have decreased taxi usage sales. According to university research done by experts, when asked if the options were ride-hailing vs taking public transit, riders chose ride-hailing. Uber and Lyft offer more comfort than public transit.
On a different note, ride-hailing has brought ridership to public transit up for new riders, as some will end their commute at a public transit station to switch over to and save travel costs. In places where transit may only be limited, ride-hailing bridges the gap for access to jobs, health and education where they otherwise wouldn’t available. A lot of transit companies are starting to use mobile mobility to be an assist to them for their riders. DCTA has bridged the gap with these services for our own services.
We have a partnership with Lyft which aligns with our vision of transitioning from providing “transportation” to offering various mobility options. We’re embracing mobile mobility instead of competing against it. Riders traveling in Highland Village and North Lewisville can get a DCTA-sponsored $2 discount. If the ride is within the designated Highland Village Lyft zone, the discount will apply for Lyft rides only.
Look in the sky, it’s a train not a plane
Cars have gone electric and trains have been able to make farther destinations in ample time. Now the next focus for travel is on planes. But what if we combined the way people travel on the ground to how they travel in the air? It sounds like a breeding experience, but it’s the reality for a recent French company who combined their air travel with trains! It consists of having a flying vehicle with a more home feel because it has more space for passengers. It’s a futuristic concept that also includes retina displays for passengers to board.
Unlike a plane, it’s built with the model of train in mind only with aerial capabilities. So imagine the space of a train with more moving room and space but with wings. It would be like riding in a super cool futuristic gadget straight out of a movie. The benefits of this new technology are to make planes less noisy and create less population with jet fuel. The French company wants to receive support from U.S. audiences and recently purchased the Texas-based engineering firm PDS Tech in June. That’s a start to an expected launch date once their design has been approved.
Have a question about any of these news stories or interested in another transit topic? Comment below and share your thoughts with us!
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