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A roundup of news from public transportation’s transit agencies and private sector companies.
MARTA Expanding Rail Station Concessions — The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has partnered with two real estate firms to encourage concessionaires to offer food, beverage, and specialty retail at select rail stations in the system. This initiative, which will enhance an existing program, will complement the agency’s transit-oriented development plans by helping to “create a sense of place around MARTA rail stations and improve the overall experience of our customers,” said General Manager/Chief Executive Officer Keith T. Parker.
Record Ridership in New Mexico — The North Central Regional Transit District, Española, NM, reported a record 209,750 trips in Fiscal Year 2014, 8.7 percent more than the previous year. The district provides free weekday bus service to a service area that encompasses more than 10,000 square miles of north central New Mexico.
Snohomish’s ‘Van GO’ Supports Nonprofits — Community Transit, Snohomish County, WA, invites nonprofit organizations in its service area to apply for its “Van GO” program, through which the agency donates its retired vans to community groups to help them provide affordable transportation. “Not everyone can rely on the bus to get them where they need to go, especially if they have a group of people they need to take to a specific destination” said Community Transit CEO Joyce Eleanor, who started the program in 2000. “Van GO helps fill that niche, and gives second life to vehicles that have already served a very useful purpose.” The agency has donated 106 vehicles since 2000.
Disabled Veterans Ride Tri-Rail Free — The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) in Pompano Beach will begin free rides for disabled veterans through the “Tri-Rail Service Connected Pass” program on Aug. 25. The SFRTA Governing Board authorized the program following discussions with a local disabled veterans group about how they would benefit from riding without charge to the VA hospitals in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.
Free Mobility Travel Training in Reno — The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, Reno, NV, has partnered with the Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living to provide free mobility travel training for senior riders. The training emphasizes safety while building rider confidence, and it includes such features as how to use ramps and lifts for loading wheelchairs onto a bus.
New Wayfinding Maps in New York City — The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and New York City DOT have teamed up to install new wayfinding maps throughout the city to help subway customers orient themselves and learn what a neighborhood has to offer as they step out of a subway station. These individual neighborhood maps for each of the 468 subway stations cover a radius of about 12 blocks, while the previous maps covered a radius between 15 and 30 blocks.