January 11, 2012

Annals of Transit – 7

An occasional update on items from the Transit City.

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GOOD NEWS, IN A WAY

A recent Reason-Rupe poll:

 … of 1,200 adults on landline and mobile phones finds that 12 percent of Americans take public transportation at least a few times a week and 63 percent say they never take public transit.

Correspondingly, 62 percent of Americans prioritize transportation funding for roads and highways over funding for public transit. Nevertheless, 30 percent—substantially more than those who frequently use public transportation—would prioritize funding for public transit. However, it is unclear whether those who do not take public transit but want to prioritize its spending would personally use public transit if expanded or if they would just want others to use it to reduce traffic congestion.

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EVEN BETTER NEWS

In addition to record ridership figures, TransLink has another reason to celebrate:

TransLink Wins Gold For Its Sustainability Performance

TransLink achieves Gold under the American Public Transportation Association Sustainability Commitment

TransLink has received the highest level of recognition ever awarded to any transportation authority in North America for its leadership and innovation in sustainability. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has awarded TransLink Gold Level status for its significant achievements in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, cutting energy use, emitting fewer pollutants and increasing ridership.

Gold Level puts TransLink at the top of a list of 77 North American signatories to the Sustainability Commitment …

In 2010, TransLink emitted 4,000 fewer tonnes of greenhouse gases (CO2e) and 58 fewer tonnes of Criteria Air Contaminants than in 2009, even with a 10 per cent increase in ridership. TransLink also curbed energy use in its facilities by 16 per cent (per passenger kilometre) through efficiency measures that included energy retrofits in its bus maintenance facilities and some administrative offices.

TransLink used 1.28 million fewer litres of diesel fuel in 2010 over the previous year. Much of this was due to its “Idle-Free” program at depots and transit exchanges, an effort that was recognized by the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA). Further fuel efficiencies were the result of replacing older diesel buses with hybrid-electric or trolley buses, redeploying diesel buses from urban routes to routes with fewer stops where they achieve better fuel efficiency, and the first full year of service on the new Canada Line, powered by hydro electricity.

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SEATTLE TRANSIT BLOG

David Schraer passes along a recommendation:

I’m writing to introduce you to Ben Schiendelman, one of the founders of Seattle Transit Blog.  Ben is an amazingly intelligent and energetic guy who is launching an effort to build a subway system in Seattle with some other transit enthusiasts …

Another blog!  On transit?  Can it be?

Well, sure – and this looks like a good one:

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