News & Media
Vol. 5, No. 1January 18, 2007
In This Issue …
- Public Transportation Key to Reducing Oil Dependency in US
- 2007 Ballot Box Update
- Honolulu Gives a Green Light to Transit
- Transportation Funding Remains a Hot Issue in Virginia
- Riders Took 7.8 Billion Trips on Public Transit in 2006
- 2007 Transit Initiatives Conference Heads to the Lone Star State
Public Transportation Key to Reducing Oil Dependency in US
TRANSIT USE SAVES 1.4 BILLION GALLONS OF GAS ANNUALLY
Earlier this week the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released a new study finding that public transportation use saves 1.4 billion gallons of gasoline every year, and can reduce household expenses by $6,200 - more than the average household pays for food in a year. The study, "Public Transportation and Petroleum Savings in the U.S. : Reducing Dependence on Oil," finds:
"Public transportation usage reduces U.S. gasoline consumption by 1.4 billion gallons each year - or the equivalent of 108 million cars filling up, almost 300,000 each day. These savings result from the efficiency of carrying multiple passengers in each vehicle; the reduction in traffic congestion from fewer automobiles on the roads; and the varied sources of energy for public transportation. If twice as many Americans had the choice of taking public transportation, these gasoline savings would at least double to 2.8 billion gallons each year."
Households that are likely to use public transportation on a given day save over $6,200 every year, compared to a household with no access to public transportation service. These households have two workers, one car and are within three-quarters of a mile of public transportation.
To read the Full Report
2007 Ballot Box Update
KITSAP COUNTY VOTERS to DECIDE THE FUTURE OF FERRY SYSTEM
On February 7, 2007 voters in Kitsap County , WA will head to the polls to decide weather the county should invest in a passenger-only ferry system. The Kitsap Transit's Passenger-Only Ferry Investment Plan was formulated after Washington State Ferries announced its intention to eliminate passenger-only ferry service. If approved Kitsap Transit will contract with a private operator to provide passenger-only ferry service initially from Bremerton, Kingston and Southworth to Seattle with increased service levels and faster, reduced-wake and more fuel efficient vessels.
The Plan requires increased ridership fares and taxes to subsidize operations and fund capital costs, including the purchase or lease of vessels and terminal facilities. The Plan also requires an increase in the local option sales and use tax of three-tenths of one percent on taxable transaction (3 cents on a $10.00 purchase), and the imposition of a motor vehicle excise tax of three-tenths of one percent on the value of motor vehicles imposed only at the time of license renewal (but not purchase). Use of these tax revenues is limited solely to passenger-only ferry service.
To view a full list of 2007 Transportation Ballot Measures
Honolulu Gives a Green Light to Transit
CITY COUNCIL APPROVED A FIXED GUIDEWAY TRANSIT SYSTEM
After decades of debate on how to solve Oahu's growing congestion problems, the Honolulu city council gave final approval to a fixed guideway mass transit system. The City Council has designated a fixed-guideway mass-transit line running from Kalaeloa to Manoa, with a branch to Waikiki . Extending more than 30 miles at a cost of about $5 billion, the designation is essentially a wish list of where officials would like to see the transit line go, if funds to build the entire route become available. It includes different options for routes through West O'ahu and the Salt Lake-Honolulu Airport areas, allowing the city administration to take more time to determine which routes to build.
Now that the plan has been approved the administration hopes to have the first segment open for use by 2012.
Read more transportation news
Transportation Funding Remains a Hot Issue in Virginia
LAWMAKERS ARE CLOSE TO REACHING AN AGREEMENT
Transportation funding has been the subject of much debate in the Virginia State Legislature for years in spite of the fact that the GOP controls both houses of the state legislature. Republicans have been split over raising revenue to fund transportation projects. However, it appears that the debate might soon be over if GOP leaders agree to a proposal which would raise taxes and fees in Northern Virginia, impose stiff fines on bad drivers and launch a new round of borrowing to immediately build the state's most costly road projects.
Another proposal that is on the table is legislation that targets future development by requiring local governments or homeowners associations to maintain new subdivision roads. It does not give local governments greater authority to deny subdivision developments because of traffic impact, a power supervisors have requested for years The proposal also would require local governments to encourage development in urban areas and would give them the option to take over road maintenance in exchange for the right to impose fees on developers building projects in more rural areas. Shifting some road responsibilities would also free state money that could be used to widen interstates, repair bridges and build interchanges, they said. Under the proposal, counties would be given some state money and equipment to maintain new subdivisions.
The Republican-controlled legislature spent most of 2006 arguing over how to add money for road construction and maintenance. The debate nearly forced a shutdown of state government and prompted a week-long special session that ended in failure. All sides have said they will use the 2007 session to try again. Only time will tell if a compromise can be reached.
Read more transportation news
Riders Took 7.8 Billion Trips on Public Transit in 2006
TRANSIT AGENCIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY REPORT GAINS
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced last week that public transportation ridership has increased by nearly 3% in the first nine months of 2006, as Americans took 7.8 billion trips on public transit. Light rail (streetcars, trolleys, heritage trolleys, and modern light rail) had the highest percentage of growth among all modes of transportation with an increase of 5.4%.
The areas reporting double digit increases in light rail ridership were: Salt Lake City , UT (23.3%); Minneapolis , MN (22.6%); New Jersey (16.3%); Philadelphia , PA (11.9%); and Sacramento , CA (10.0%). Commuter rail, which grew by 3.2% from January through September 2006, showed the largest increases in the following areas: Harrisburg , PA (12.1%); Chesterton , IN (12.0%); Miami , FL (11.7%); Dallas , TX (11.3%); and New Haven , CT (9.9%).Bus ridership in small, medium, and large communities also showed increases. Nationally, bus ridership increased by nearly 3% in the first nine months of 2006.
Usage data in the wake of last year's price spikes suggest that not only are travel habits changing but also much of the increased use is being sustained over time.
To see the complete ridership report
2007 Transit Initiatives Conference Heads to the Lone Star State
SAVE THE DATE!
Austin , Texas - June 10-12, 2007
Downtown Austin Marriott Courtyard
View the preliminary program and register for the conference