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SEPTA Launching Social Distancing Coaches To Ensure Riders Wearing Masks, Following Other Safety Mea

SEPTA is launching Social Distancing Coaches across its transit system to remind riders to wear face masks and other safety measures during the pandemic. “It’s just the simplest act of kindness we can all do right now,” social distancing coach Jessica Mangold said. A simple act of kindness goes a long way and in the SEPTA system, that means wearing a mask. Mangold has been hopping around to different stations handing them out. She is what SEPTA is calling a Social Distancing Coach. Her job is to not only enforce the agency’s mask policy but also give out masks and offer general guidance on COVID-19. “My mask protects you, your mask protects me,” Mangold said. “Our system is very safe we’ve d

Bus Ridership Was in Trouble Long Before COVID-19, Study Finds - Government Technology

A new report by the Transportation Research Board looks at public transit’s declining ridership trends from 2012 to 2016, due in part to housing and demographic changes, and of course Uber and Lyft. Transit stops across the nation have become a little less crowded, despite population gains in a number of cities and myriad efforts by agencies to grow ridership. But these declines are not just because of the ill effects of COVID-19, and signal a troubling trend — especially for buses. Bus ridership has “dipped below anything we’ve seen since 1990. And actually, anything we’ve seen since the 1970s,” said Kari Watkins, a professor with the Urban Transportation Lab at Georgia Tech and one of the

SEPTA Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Policy Research - DVRPC

In recent years, transit agencies have come to view agency support for Transit-oriented development (TOD) as a promising strategy to address declining ridership levels and the prospect of decreasing public funding. This report identifies strategies that SEPTA can employ to enhance its support for TOD in Greater Philadelphia. This document summarizes the information DVRPC has gathered through literature review, research, and interviews and is designed to serve as a resource that can help SEPTA and its local partners strengthen the connections between transit, land use planning, and development decisions. Transit-oriented development (TOD) is an approach to planning and building communities ar

Transit aid plan gains ground - Altoona Mirror

House bill seeks to give counties more options to generate revenue A House bill seeking to give counties more options to generate revenue for local transportation projects is getting consideration as part of an emerging debate over transportation funding. The aim of House Bill 2068 is to allow counties to help local mass transit agencies, which are currently experiencing steep ridership and revenue declines due to the pandemic, said House Majority Transportation Committee Chairman Tim Hennessey, R-Montgomery. The legislation is part of a transportation package unveiled by the House GOP Majority Caucus before COVID-19 hit Pennsylvania in March. HB2068 would allow counties to levy a surtax up

Coronavirus revealed our systemic weaknesses. Bike infrastructure is one - PlanPhilly

Amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and recommendations to practice “social distancing,” a growing number of people have taken themselves off public transit and out of cabs and ride-hailing cars and gotten onto bicycles. Indego, Philadelphia’s bike-sharing system has seen a spike in trips and restaurants are utilizing bicycle delivery services as they remain open for delivery and takeout. In addition to those using bikes out of necessity, people are de-stressing with rides in parks and on trails. That’s a good thing, note David Nieman, Dr.PH., a health professor at Appalachian State University and Brian Labus, Ph.D., MPH, who teaches at University of Nevada Las Vegas in Bicycling Magazine. For

Micromobility proves its worth for post-pandemic cities - Cities Today

Until recently, the relationship between micromobility providers and cities has been, at worst, rocky – characterised by rows over streets cluttered with abandoned scooters, and arguments over rights to ridership data – and at best, an arm’s length stand-off, with officials setting the rules which private companies are expected to follow. But the COVID-19 crisis could see this dynamic evolve towards more cordial partnerships. Several North American transport leaders at a recent Cities Today Institute roundtable agreed that the pandemic has highlighted how micromobility services such as rented scooters and shared bikes are now a crucial part of the transport mix in many cities, and therefore

How your commute will get worse if the state yanks SEPTA funding - PlanPhilly

If state funding for SEPTA disappears, the next 10 years will give way to a deprived version of our current public transportation system, SEPTA is warning Pennsylvania lawmakers. SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards told the Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee Wednesday that a handful of transit services would vanish in the next decade if the authority can’t secure its usual funding from Harrisburg — now in jeopardy amid the pandemic-induced state budget crisis. Without sustained state funding, SEPTA says it would be forced to cut — The entire Broad-Ridge Spur Four of the 13 Regional Rail lines More than 100 stations on the remaining nine of the 13 Regional Rail routes SEPTA would a

How does air quality affect you? A discussion with some of Philadelphia’s leading voices - Al Día Ne

Today, transportation is responsible for 27% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Experts from the University of Pennsylvania, Congreso and DVRPC talked about how air quality amplifies inequalities found in Philadelphia’s underrepresented communities. Because of its spot in the Northeastern U.S., Philadelphia often finds itself with some of the poorest air quality in the nation. “Philadelphia is typically in the top-25 most ozone and fine particle-polluted cities and regions in the nation,” said Sean Greene, Manager of the Air Quality Program at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC). Philadelphia’s air quality contributors Greene, who was taking part in AL DÍA’s most recent R

Increasing E-Bike Adoption Just 15 Percent Could Cut Emissions 12 Percent - Streetsblog

A new study shows that just a 15 percent shift to electric bicycles in Portland would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 12 percent. If drivers in Portland, Ore. replaced a car trip with an e-bike trip just 15 percent of the time, it would take a 12 percent bite out of greenhouse gas emissions, a new study finds — and researchers think that the City of Roses isn’t the only one for which that ambitious-sounding goal is achievable with a few minor initiatives. The Portland State University-based researchers found that each e-bike could save the planet a whopping 496 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year — roughly equivalent to the annual carbon output of each computer in the average U.S. h

State Transportation Commission Adopts Updated 12-Year Transportation Program - PennDOT

Action Clears Way for Latest Round of Transportation Improvements across Pennsylvania Harrisburg, PA – The State Transportation Commission (STC) today updated the 12-Year Program. The new plan anticipates $64.8 billion being available over the next 12 years for improvements to roads, bridges, transit systems, airports and railroads. The 12-Year Program, or TYP, is a multimodal, fiscally-constrained planning tool used to identify and prioritize Pennsylvania’s transportation projects and the funds needed to complete them. State law requires the STC to review and update the 12-Year Program every two years. No capital project can move forward unless it is included in the 12-Year Program. The new

Regional Trail Activity Sees Major Increases During COVID-19 Compared To 2019 - My Chesco

Data through June Shows Considerable Increase in Trail Use from 2019 to 2020 Community pools are closed for the season, vacations are transforming into staycations, and the region’s reopening plans are moving along cautiously. It’s safe to say that summer looks a bit different as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues. As individuals around the region take stock of their summer plans, many are deciding that staying local is the best option and that getting outdoors and on the region’s trails remain key to both physical and mental wellness as well as recreation. “There’s no doubt that people have taken to the trails in larger numbers since the outbreak began,” said Sarah Clark Stuar

Technology Is Creating New Mobility Solutions For Cities To Manage Covid-19 - Forbes

The outbreak of Covid-19 has had a significant impact on urban mobility. Based on a recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report, the lockdown measures put in place to limit the spread of Covid-19 significantly reduced passenger transport demand across many of the world’s major cities. As governments issued social distancing measures, local authorities advised residents against taking public transport, which resulted in a significant drop in passenger numbers by the end of March 2020. Since then, cities around the world have started to ease lockdown restrictions, with authorities creating dedicated bike lanes and walkways so residents can practice physical distancing while being able to c

SEPTA trains and buses have great airflow — which means less coronavirus risk for riders - Billy Pen

Along with mask-wearing, health officials say ventilation is key to avoiding infection. Airflow matters when it comes to preventing the spread of coronavirus. Turns out SEPTA cars are a pretty safe place to be, relative to other indoor spaces. Philly’s transit authority is stocked with vehicles that are capable of ventilating frequently. New air refreshes cars on both the Broad Street Line and Market-Frankford Line every 2 to 3 minutes — and there are similar rates across the system: on buses, Regional Rail and trolley cars. Indoor spaces with good ventilation are considered less risky than those without, scientists say, because airflow can dilute the presence of viral particles in your imme

Pa. Turnpike: Toll hike, 45-percent non-EZ pass surcharge coming - WHYY PBS

Pennsylvania Turnpike officials have announced yet another toll increase — 6-percent beginning early next year — as well as a new 45 percent surcharge for non-EZ-Pass users whose tolls are assessed by mail based on their license plates. Officials said the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission on Tuesday approved a 6 percent increase for EZ-Pass users as well those without passes in the “Toll by Plate” program. But they also approved an average 45 percent increase over the 2020 cash rate “to reflect the costs of collections for this tolling method.” Under the Toll by Plate option, high-speed cameras capture license-plate images as vehicles pass by, and the registered owner then receives an invoice

COVID May Take 14 Million Cars Off the Road Forever - Streetsblog

But if we don't act fast, they'll come back. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed American driving habits so much that traffic volumes may never recover, a new study finds — but the predicted the post-vaccine 9.2-percent drop in national vehicle miles travelled could be much bigger, if we act now. Following a comprehensive study of trends in remote work adoption, shifts to online shopping, and other national travel data collected over the course of the pandemic, researchers at KPMG concluded that traffic volumes probably aren’t going to climb much higher than the benchmark they’ve reached to date: just 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels. Over time, researchers say that drop would translate to as

SEPTA To Introduce Social Distancing Coaches

Program is designed to thank customers for mask compliance and offer general information in the age of COVID-19. In an effort to promote mask-wearing compliance and social distancing, Social Distancing Coaches will be positioned at key locations throughout the SEPTA system beginning Tuesday, August 4 through August 27. One to two coaches per location will be on hand to answer questions about social distancing and mask compliance. This new program is an extension of SEPTA's ambassador program, which was designed to introduce customers to the SEPTA Key fare payment system. "The coaches are there on behalf of SEPTA to thank our customers for riding the system and wearing masks, so we're focusin

Protected Bike Lanes that Any City Can Afford - Streetsblog

Road users who are tired of contending with car traffic on their ride could soon get some relief — thanks to an ultra-affordable mobility lane made out of recycled car tires. The WeClaim lane delineator won first place in the Build a Better Barrier competition, which was hosted by micromobility company Spin in response to the surge in active transportation during the coronavirus pandemic. Milwaukee-based advocate Caressa Givens and designer Arthur Talayko were awarded a $1,000 prize for their submission, and a prototype of their design will be manufactured for a pilot project. Interested cities are encouraged to reach out to Spin if they’d like to see this beaut on their roads: The design wa

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