At some point yesterday, TARC released its top 13 advancements in public transportation of the year.
So let’s take a look:
- TARC announces eTran (Enhanced Transit), an investment of $30 million over four years to upgrade TARC’s fleet, facilities and technology. A majority of the funding, $20 million, was provided by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Indiana Department of Transportation as part of the Ohio River Bridges Project to improve cross-river mobility.
- Mayor Greg Fischer launches MoveLouisville to develop a long-term and multi-modal strategy to expand connectivity and mobility in Louisville, one of the most common themes among the 80,000 ideas submitted by citizens during the mayor’s visioning process.
- The modernization of TARC’s fleet with 48 new buses, accounting for 25 percent of the fleet – including 11 hybrid-electric buses, 16 clean diesel buses and 21 eTran “commuter coaches” designed to make commuting more comfortable and productive, with higher seatbacks, individual lighting and climate control, as well as free on board Wi-Fi and charging stations for smartphone, tablets and laptops.
- The announcement of a new cross-river express route linking Southern Indiana and downtown Louisville beginning January 27, 2014. TARC’s 65X route will make eight round trips on weekdays between a new Park-and-TARC lot at Ivy Tech in Sellersburg and key downtown employment locations.
- Real-time bus arrival data released, with a number of area app developers working to create apps using the information. TARC will incorporate real-time bus arrival information with Google Maps and its own online Trip Planner in early 2014.
- TARC introduces mobile-optimized website to make it easier to plan trips on the go.
- Service expands to provide access to major employment site, Amazon Fulfillment Center, at River Ridge in Southern Indiana. Service is increased during the peak employment holiday season for both Amazon and Café Press at Jefferson Riverport.
- Contract issued with vendor to provide all-electric, zero-emission buses to circulate downtown. Ten electric buses are to arrive in 2014.
- TARC announces plans for electronic fare collection on buses. New payment system will save time and money with “tap and go” smartcard technology rolling out in 2014.
- Bicycle carrying capacity expanded, with new buses now featuring bike racks able to carry three bikes.
- TARC uses Twitter to notify riders with about re-routes and late arrivals during inclement weather and traffic congestion.
- More direct service connecting downtown, University of Louisville and the airport launches on a modified Route #2.
- Job-Hunter buses provide fare-free service to job fairs and employment training opportunities around the community.
We guess that’s all swell. Even though there was no mention of route cuts or anything else that drove riders to complain. But this is Louisville – those who speak up are frowned upon.
Here’s to 2014 and more agencies working to ignore anything they dislike.