By Gabrielle Sanchez
Upon reading the phrase “Ticket to Ride,” you may start humming The Beatles hit or have images of the classic board game pop into your head. However, what you’re reading is the University of Texas at Austin’s transportation newsletter. For the first week online I wanted to take a look at the top transit stories from the summer in order to get everyone on the same train, plane or automobile. From dockless scooters to Hurricane Florence, here’s what’s been affecting the way people get from one place to another.
Hurricane Florence floods roads and threatens ability to evacuate
As Hurricane Florence closes in on the East Coast, officials warn those living in affected states that transit and roads could be greatly affected due to extreme flooding and high winds. According to The Washington Post, bus and rail services are set to run normally but that could change as the storm arrives. Officials predict severe damages to the highway system and other unforeseen effects could occur.
Think you could walk faster than traffic? These commuters can.
Some in D.C. have begun to opt for running to work instead of waiting in traffic in their car or on the train, The Washington Post reported. These unconventional commuters pack a morning change of clothes and hit the streets. It has served as a way to shorten their daily commute while getting their fitness in.
Cap Metro unveiled bus re-rerouting
Last June Austin’s Cap Metro rolled out a new bus system two years in the making, KUT’s Syeda Hasan reported. It’s goal was to create a more cohesive bus system, taking buses out off neighborhood streets and onto major roads. It also bumped 14 high frequency routes to running every 15 minutes. For some in the area, the re-route may have little to no effect on their daily commute, while others may find themselves walking farther to reach their normal bus stop.
Dock-less mobility services raise questions and concerns in metro areas across nation
A few months after its debut in downtown Austin, Lime added 250 additional scooters to their dockless fleet, bringing its total to 750. According to The Daily Texan, these scooters will widen Lime’s service for Austin riders outside of downtown core. Out of the seven dockless mobility companies, Lime is the only one who has been approved to expand beyond the downtown area.
New York City began to dip its toes into the dockless bike ventures over the summer, providing services to those in the Bronx and Staten Island, which are two areas that have been previously underserved in terms of alternative modes of transit. The New York Times reported that officials are working cautiously to introduce a program that will alleviate rather than further clutter the bustling city like similar programs have in cities like Dallas.
Not using proper locks make bike theft easy pickings on campus
According to The Daily Texan, Duren and Jester Residence Halls are two of the most common areas for bike theft on campus. The Parking and Transportation Services said that almost 90 percent of bikes stolen on campus are improperly locked or are not locked up using a U-Lock. Students are encouraged to use a U-Lock and register their bikes for free through the PTS, which increases the chance that students will have their stolen bike returned to them.
Driver-less buses may be the future of public transit
The City of Austin is piloting a driver-less bus system this fall that could be rolled out by the end of the year, according to the Austin-American Statesman. The smaller, pod-like buses hold 15 people and would have an attendant on board monitor and assist handicapped riders. The fleet would operate strictly in the downtown area and put Austin on the same page with other cities like Ann Arbor, Mich., that plan on rolling out similar programs by the end of the year as well.
Pflugerville City Council reviews possible transit routes to Austin
According to Community Impact, the Transit Development Plan recently proposed a program to connect services to those living in Pflugerville. Their plan outlines pilot programs, fares, routes and possible schedules that would broaden transit services further into Pflugerville than the current Tech Ridge bus stop. The Transit Development Plan also outlined an addendum for a door-to-door pick-up service.