Bus, Train, Public Transportation

We don't want no stinkin' benches (or do we?)

The Courier-Journal posted this story yesterday about the convtroversy over the ad benches that have been appearing along Louisville's state highways. 

The Cincinatti company claims they are aboveboard and have their ducks in a row:

Bruce Graumlich, president of the Bench Billboard Co., said he would only answer questions posed in writing. He said that his company has “sought and received permits” for the benches and that all are “lawfully placed.”

However, the benches, which have been placed on state highways, are not permitted, says KYTC:

Pedestrian of the Day

Louisville Commuters Set Record Again in 2008!

All 3 modes post impressive gains over the last three years.

Transit numbers aren't a surprise - we all knew that 2007 was a gas spike year, and TARC fares didn't follow suit until 2008.

its impressive that 2.5% of the population is walking to work. Can ped improvements have 2.5% of the transportation budget now pretty please? $100 million to complete the pedestrian portion of ORBP should be no sweat.

Beware: For some reason no walk data was present in 2006. The point is interpolated between 2005 and 2007. The impressive walking slope looks a little more tenuous with that in mind, since 2005 might be an outlyer. But if not: hooray for walkers, who quietly increased their numbers by 67% in just three years!

Louisville's bicycling hard core continues to claw up. This is the proportion of people who take the bike most days, which is a little more intense than the fair weather commuter. The League of American Bicyclists explains: "the ACS methodology under-counts cycling by not counting bicycle commuters who biked just once or twice the week they were surveyed or most cyclists who bike and use public transportation for their trip to work." And of course it doesn't count non-commuting uses of the bicyle at all, which is a shame because commuting is usually the hairiest trip of the day. Nevertheless, 700,000 people times 0.41% = 2,870 hard core bike commuters out there....somewhere. Wow.

Source: US Census Bureau's American Community Survey, via Bicycle Commuting Trends, 2000 to 2008 at the League's Blog.

New TARC buses enter service

I nearly fell off my bike today when I saw some spankin' new TARC buses. They look nothing like TARC's traditional or hybrid buses. My first impression was "neato". Any readers have info or photos?

Car Free Day! Zany Flash Mob! Tuesday Sept 22nd!

To have some fun, be silly, and celebrate World Car Free Day and Two Wheel Tuesdays, we're going to hold a street corner "encouragement" of bicycling, walking, and public transit along Frankfort Avenue. We are literally going to line the streets and cheer for every cyclist, bus, and walker going by. Its just our way of celebrating the transportation choices that enhance our community.

Please join our zany party. Its a way for us to provide some positive feedback for biking, walking, and transit. We're meeting by the railroad tracks on Frankfort Ave (map) at 6 and will keep it up until we get tired.

If you can, bring noisemakers, signs, costumes, whatever! If not, we'll have some spares.

Car Free Day - Day of Prayer

A group of activists are riding 120 miles in 12 hours on 13 buses.  We are making nine stops at locations around the city to pray for those who will be hurt most by the effects of climate change. You are invited to join us on the bus or meet at one of the prayer stops. Go to kentuckyipl.org for the complete schedule.

Last year it was just me - this year everybody's doin' it.

I am also asking for donations. Half of the money raised will go to Family Scholar House to pay for TARC tickets for their clients and the other half will go to Kentucky IPL to advocate for systemic changes in public transportation.

'Tea Party' Anti-Tax Protestors Demand Better Transit

WSJ has the story, in all it's ironic glory:

Protesters who attended Saturday’s Tea Party rally in Washington found a new reason to be upset: Apparently they are unhappy with the level of service provided by the subway system.

Rep. Kevin Brady called for a government investigation into whether the government-run subway system adequately prepared for this weekend’s rally to protest government spending and government services.

The Texas Republican on Wednesday released a letter he sent to Washington’s Metro system complaining that the taxpayer-funded subway system was unable to properly transport protesters to the rally to protest government spending and expansion.

Yeah, and after he gets to the bottom of that "mystery", perhaps he can team up with O.J. to find the real killer!

Coming soon to a Derby near you?: "Bus Wars Episode V: The Authority Strikes Back"

In the old days TARC used to supplement its income by running charters to the Derby and other special events. A Bush-era ruling out of the USDOT reversed that, clearing the field for private enterprise. Miller had to bust some heads to crack open that market, and now its supplementing their income. Now the USDOT mulls reversing that ruling, leading to some hand-wringing here in River City.

Retrospective on Louisville's Elevated Passenger Rail

Branden and R. David over at Broken Sidewalk have this quality post up about Louisville's passenger rail. Its a must read for rail fans.

After Incident, TARC to provide Travel Training

Saturday: local citizens were repeatedly denied boarding to TARC buses operating on Bardtown Road. Chanting their rallying cry of 'BRAiiiiiiins", citizens pounded and scratched at the windows of the buses, but could not gain entry. Anger spread like a virus, passersby joined the mob, and the situation turned bloody.

Ground zero last Saturday - wheel chair lifts and kneeling shocks baffle would-be riders in the Highlands - photo from the C-J web gallery

Fallout from the incident continued on Friday, with TARC officials refusing to answer calls from this reporter. However, in a possible olive branch, CART has learned that TARC may be willing to hold a "travel training" in the Highlands. "Travel training is a free program offered by TARC to show people how to plan a trip, read schedules and maps, transfer buses and use the accessibility features of the bus." says TARC spokeswoman Alyce French-Johnson. The program is offered in cooperation with KIPDA and AARP.

A spokesperson for the aggreived citizens did not return a call for comment.

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