Archive for the 'BCT' Category

Tri-Rail Shuttle Shuffle

Remember that vote by Broward County Commissioners to remove funding for Tri-Rail feeder buses in Broward County? Well, the Sun-Sentinel reports that on Tuesday the commission will consider replacing the funding for shuttle buses for at least the coming year.

These shuttle buses are a crucial part of the Tri-Rail service, as the stations themselves are generally far from employment centers. The buses, funded by the county, provide the final link to work or home for many Tri-Rail riders. Until we get Tri-Rail service on the FEC tracks that pass closer to city centers, they provide the best connections. County bus service is not timed to the train schedules and often uses longer routes to get to key locations. Take the Fort Lauderdale airport, for instance. Right now we have a nice shuttle bus providing service from the Fort Lauderdale Airport station to the airport terminals. Without the shuttle, the alternative would be to wait for Broward County Transit Route 4, then transfer to Route 1 at US-1. I don’t even want to know how long that might take! Do you want to be able to get to FLL by Tri-Rail? Ask your county commissioners to keep the shuttle.

Find your commissioner and let them know you want to see Tri-Rail shuttles funded for the coming year. Also remind them that you want to see funding continue on a permanent basis.

Broward County Transit Meetings

Tomorrow, Broward County Transit is having a public hearing on changes to some bus routes. Instead of the service cuts that South Florida sees too often, it looks like their changes mostly consist of service improvements and the addition of a new express route. See their press release for more details, and head over to room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center on August 12 at 2 PM to put in your two cents’ worth.

There’s aso a Transportation Development Workshop this Thursday, August 14, from 3:30 to 5:30 PM at the Broward County Lauderhill Towne Center Library. Again, hit up the website for more info on the Transit Development Plan and the workshops.

And don’t let the bus hit you on your way there.

Broward County Transit Now On Google Transit

Google Transit Ad

Have you checked out Google Transit yet? It sounded good back when it came out: use Google Maps to plan your transit trip. It’s definitely better than the official South Florida Regional Transit Trip Planner, but we didn’t have any local transit systems on there. Until now.

We can’t be certain when that changed, but Broward County Transit is now on the official list of Transit systems that Google searches. A nice feature is that if you search for directions on Google Maps, it offers a “public transit” option as well as a drive option for areas that are on Google Transit. It’s never been easier to compare your public transit alternatives to driving.

If anyone’s keeping score of these high tech transit tools, I’d say that puts Broward: 2 to Miami: 1.

Photo by Flickr user Steve Rhodes.

 

Broward County Transit Installs Real-Time Message Boards

Tired of unreliable buses? Sick of not knowing when the bus is coming, or whether you just missed it and have to wait the full 30 minutes for the next one?

We can’t do anything about the unreliable buses until we get a streetcar, but BCT has begun putting up real-time message signs that tell you when to expect the next bus. The first two started operation Thursday at bus stops on Hwy.  441 near Oakland Park Blvd., and more are ready to be installed in the near future. Broward County’s signs one-up many similar systems across the country by including a voice that audibly tells riders when to expect their bus. It’s a great feature for visually impaired or illiterate people, many of whom are forced to ride the bus as they cannot legally drive a car.

Maybe we need some more visually impaired people. We need some way to get people out of their convenient Lexus Cages. Failing a sudden rise in blindness, perhaps comforts like these message boards will help.

Read more details about the boards in the press release. If anyone’s used the message boards, please let us know how they work. How’s the accuracy of the time?

 

Update 6/11/2008: BCT sent us a picture of one of the message boards. Here it is for your viewing pleasure.

 

 

While Miami Transit Gently Sleeps…

Last May, Miami-Dade Transit introduced a $19 unlimited ride pass good for seven days. Called the Visitor Passport, it was marketed toward out-of-town visitors, and sold in only a few tourist-heavy spots such as Miami’s airport. Why, some wondered, couldn’t there be other innovations to make getting around easier – for locals?

At the time, transit officials insisted they had plans underway to create various rider passes in addition to the existing $75 monthly pass. There was talk of something akin to New York’s per-ride Metro Card, coordination with transit systems in Broward and Palm Beach counties, free beer. Okay, maybe not free beer, but you get the point.

Granted, transit does offer discounted tokens and various price breaks on monthly passes for groups, seniors and college students. But still no easy-to-use, per-ride cards.

It’s been a year. The average person still has to fumble for exact change, carry a stash of tokens or commit to a monthly pass. No wonder people consider public transit impractical.

When is MDT going to wake up?

Broward County Transit Meeting

A quick reminder for anyone in Broward county: tonight there is another public meeting/summit to discuss your transit concerns. Head to the South Regional/BCC Library, 7300 Pines Blvd. in Pembroke Pines from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Sorry about the last minute notice, but go if you have the chance!

Dump The Pump!

The day is dedicated to raising awareness that public transportation helps improve the environment and conserve fuel. It also offers the opportunity for people to beat the high price of gasoline and support public transportation as an important travel option that helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
-Via APTA

Locally:

The 7 Day Metropass has Arrived!

That’s right folks, today MDT unveiled their new 7 day metropass geared to Miami’s tourist market:
The $19 pass will come with a countywide transit system map including detailed maps of Miami Beach and downtown Miami showing visitors how to get to numerous tourist attractions and destinations using Metrobus, Metrorail and Metromover. A scratch-off calendar will let passengers choose the seven consecutive days they wish to use the pass.

Now, if only we could accelerate plans to unify the tri-county transit systems and implement system wide technology which would enable the use of credit cards, we’ll really be making some logical progress…

The pass will initially be sold at Miami International Airport, four visitor centers, select hotels and businesses and MDT’s transit service centers. For exact pass sales locations and hours of operation, call 305-770-3131 or visit www.miamidade.gov/transit. Online sales of the pass will begin in the fall on MDT’s website as well as a number of international travel websites.

Odds N Ends

  • Free Dunkin Donuts on Thursday if you participate in the Commuter Challenge Day by riding Tri-Rail…Or, you could just print this voucher and go to your nearest Dunkin Donuts, but I’d still recommend giving the train a try…
  • On that Note, with regards to Ryan’s Post on the absence of a regional farecard system, Larry Lebowitz, the transportation Guru at the Miami Herald, has informed me that MDT, BCT, Palm Tran, and the SFRTA are working together to implement such a system soon. Apparently the hold up is coming from the SFRTA. I’ll be working to obtain more information on the subject…
  • Great Ideas, now just agree to build the darn thing downtown…