Tag Archives: transit

Dump the Pump Day is Almost Here!

Ride the bus or train this Thursday to celebrate the 7th annual national Dump the Pump Day! On June 21st, the Sierra Club and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) are encouraging people to ditch their cars in favor of  modes of transportation which are friendlier to the environment – as well as their wallets.

According to the APTA Transit Savings Report, public transit saves 4.2 billion gallons of gas and $19 billion in reduced congestion costs in America each year. Transit is also a major contributor to our economy, supporting 400,000 jobs across the country. On the individual level, riding transit instead of a car saves the average American over $10,000 annually.

Several cities and towns across Texas this year are hosting local activities and contests to celebrate Dump the Pump Day.

Dallas/Forth Worth/North Texas: Dallas Area Rapid Transit, the T in Fort Worth, and the Denton County Transportation Authority are all encouraging people to try public transit by allowing commuters to swap a gas receipt for a week of free transit. Details are available on the DART website.

El Paso: Sun Metro is giving away seven annual bus passes and seven monthly passes randomly to passengers throughout the day. They will also give away 70 day passes to riders who park and ride at the Lower Valley, East Side, Northeast or West Side transfer centers. More info available at the Sun Metro website.

Longview/East Texas: Damiya Pentecost, Longview’s mobility manager, will be on Fox 51 at 8AM on June 21st to talk about the event. Longview Transit will be offering free bus passes all day as well as additional promotional items. Visit their website for more info.

Lubbock: Citibus rides will be free all day Thursday. Visit kfyo.com for more info.

San Antonio: VIA Metropolitan Transit is giving away free monthly bus passes via their Facebook page. Visit Viainfo.net for more info.

Have a happy Dump the Pump Day! Let us know if you rode transit this week!

-Masha Alaupovic, Transportation Policy Intern

DART’s Green Line gets kudos from USDOT

You know you’ve got a good thing when US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood comes to check it out in person–and then blog about it. Along with Federal Transit Administration Director Peter Rogoff, LaHood toured the economic development in Dallas that is coming as a result of the light rail line.

Dallas is expecting an estimated 48,000 long term jobs created by development along the light rail line. That’s beyond the jobs directly created by the rail from engineering, construction, maintenance, operations, etc. Since these jobs are right by the rail line, chances are the workers will choose to ride. Just the thought of that makes me breathe easier!

While we’re talking about jobs, investment in rail and federal requirements to use American made products means the potential for jobs in the manufacturing sector. Though DART doesn’t currently use American made trains, other cities do. New street car lines also contribute to demand. Secretary LaHood blogged about this, too.

Why is a Sierra Club blog talking about jobs? We’re part of the Blue Green Alliance.

Kari Banta, Transportation Associate

$928.5 Million for Transit from US DOT: Green Jobs, Cleaner Fuels

Exciting news for transit improvements! The $928.5 million  is available through the Federal Transit Administration’s fiscal year 2011 Alternatives Analysis, Bus Livability, and State of Good Repair Programs. It will go toward replacing or refurbishing aging buses, building or improving bus terminals, garages, and other transit facilities, installing bus-related equipment, and conducting studies to help communities select the best transit options to meet future transportation needs.

Transit investment creates 31% more jobs per dollar than investments in  new construction of roads and bridges. Replacement vehicles will use cleaner fuels than the the standard diesel.

Texas will get $57,078,664 for sixteen projects, distributed across the state in major metropolitan regions and outlying areas.

Southeast Texas:

  • Houston and Harris County get funding for a circulator study for Houston’s East Downtown, vehicle replacements, and facility improvements for Kashmere and Hiram Clarke. They also get money for transit asset management, enabling better decision-making based upon quality information and well-defined objectives.
  • The alternatives analysis for the Galveston-Houston Mobility Corridor will receive the funding needed for completion.  Galveston will also get the Seawall Boulevard Transit Pedestrian Access and Beautification Plan and construction of bus stop amenities to support new
    transit services.
  • The Woodlands will get a transit terminal.
  • A plan for Conroe on Complete Street and Transit Access to Support Multi‐Modal Options will be funded as well.

East Texas:

  • Longview Transit Facility Rehab

North Texas:

  • Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART): Vehicle replacements.
  • Denton County Transportation Authority: Facility Replacement
  • Texoma: Paratransit Vehicle Replacements

Central Texas:

  • Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Cap Metro) will receive money for the Austin Bike & Rides for Livable Communities‐Last Mile Solution. This will allow Cap Metro to install MetroBike bike share facilities at seven major transit facilities, all of which connect to Metrobus service. Cap Metro will also have funds for vehicle replacements.
  • VIA Metropolitan Transit  in San Antonio will get funds for its VIA Primo: Bus Rapid Transit service Leon Valley Extension (Bandera
    Rd) and for facility improvements.

West Texas:

  • El Paso: Millennium Vehicle Replacements

Kari Banta, Transportation Associate