Thoughts on Transit - An Ecolane Blog

5 Ways Rural Transit Differs from Urban Transit

Posted by Ecolane on Tue, Sep 27, '16

For rural transit agencies, it’s critical to understand the unique requirements of its ridership. Rural passengers have different expectations compared to passengers in urban areas, and these expectations must be considered to ensure optimal service. In an effort to help guide rural transit agencies in optimizing their service, this latest Ecolane post looks at the unique aspects of the rural transit system.

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Topics: Transit Trends

The Impact of IoT on Mass Transit

Posted by Ecolane on Thu, Sep 22, '16

Increasingly, mass transit operators depend on refined data in order to manage their systems. With a vast amount of data now at their disposal, transit providers are able to leverage data to make intelligent and informed decisions about their operations. The IoT (Internet of Things) trend has empowered organizations to extract data from various areas of their systems to enhance operations and support superior service for transit system users.

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Topics: Transit Trends

How Agencies Can Use Data Collected from Mass Transit Software to Grow their Bottom Line

Posted by Ecolane on Mon, Sep 19, '16

Transit agencies now have access to a wealth of information on system users. However, without the technology to turn data into actionable reports, agency teams are unable to use the data to its full potential. In order to improve quality of service, increase profitability over the long-term, and deliver an enhanced rider experience, transit providers must allocate the necessary resources in order to effectively aggregate, interpret, and apply this data to day-to-day operations.

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Topics: Transit Trends

How to Improve Your Transit Grant Application

Posted by Ecolane on Tue, Sep 6, '16

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, funding plays an integral role in the success of public transit operations, especially for rural transit providers. The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) work to ensure that all segments of the population, regardless of social class, education level or employment status, deserve equal access to safe and affordable transportation services to get to and from work, home, school, shopping, medical appointments, and all other fundamental activities. To achieve this, the DOT and FTA offer various States, metropolitan, rural, and local grant programs and opportunities to help create more mobile and connected communities.

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Topics: Transit Trends

The Best Public Transportation Anecdote As Told by a Transit Professional

Posted by Ecolane on Fri, Aug 26, '16

Working in the public transportation industry offers many fulfilling benefits; it plays a fundamental role in solving for our nation’s economic, energy, and environmental challenges, it helps to bring a better quality of life by providing safer, more reliable and more affordable transportation alternatives, and it allows employers to offer transportation benefit programs to its employees. However, arguably the most fulfilling benefit of all is the live entertainment that drivers are fortunate enough to witness while on the job.

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Topics: Transit Trends

2 Companies That Are Leveraging Technology to Enhance the Customer Experience

Posted by Ecolane on Mon, Aug 22, '16

“Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.”

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Topics: Transit Trends

A ‘How To’ on Purchasing Technology in Any Industry

Posted by Ecolane on Wed, Aug 17, '16

It used to be that a quality product and great customer service were the two most foundational components of a successful business. However, as we continue to become more digitally connected and our tolerance for long customer lead times lessens, technology will play a more integral role in the way modern businesses operate. Practically synonymous with innovation, technology helps to facilitate a differentiated marketplace by enabling businesses to work smarter, more efficiently, and more productively than ever before. Although fundamental to modern infrastructure environments, the constant evolution and high price tag often associated with technology has hindered many organizations from adopting the newest and most advanced business innovations. While it’s unrealistic to assume that today’s businesses will always have technology that reflects the latest market trends and advancements, there are a handful of strategic avenues that can be leveraged to ensure that organizations invest in solutions that are both sustainable and equipped to effectively support business and market demands.

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Topics: Transit Trends

Selecting a Transit Software Provider: 3 Tips for Transit Professionals

Posted by Ecolane on Wed, Jul 27, '16

In order to keep up with rising demands and deliver the rider experience that today’s consumers have come to expect, transit providers must look to the next generation in technology. The competitive landscape has made a dramatic shift in recent years, and as such, businesses have been forced to accept digital transformation as their new reality. For transit providers specifically, this has created added pressure to evolve from utilizing outdated, legacy systems that create cumbersome processes and internal barriers, to leveraging the technology and software that will facilitate a more efficient and effective operation. Due to a chronic lack of funding within the public transportation industry, many agencies have turned to outsourced software providers as the solution. With the ability to streamline operations and minimize costs, outsourcing enables transit organizations to accommodate the demands of modern riders while staying within tight budgetary constraints.

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Topics: Transit Trends

The Impact of Funding on the Future of Rural Transit

Posted by Ecolane on Tue, Jul 26, '16

The public transportation industry has come a long way since its humble beginning as an alternative transit option for low income individuals, couples, and families. As this stigma continues to subside and public transportation continues to play a more fundamental role within the transit community, agencies will need to focus much of their efforts on seeking out additional funding opportunities. However, finding viable funding opportunities has been, and will likely continue to be, an ongoing challenge within the public transportation industry. Although a percentage of an agency’s funding can be attributed to its farebox collections, the majority of transit agencies in America only realize recovery ratios between 25% and 30%. Meaning, the remaining 70% - 75% is coming from state and federal taxes. While it’s important to note that these taxes will vary from region to region, the end result remains the same; funding is limited.

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Topics: Transit Trends

Improving Demand Response Transit Metrics: Arlington Handitran

Posted by Ecolane on Tue, Jul 19, '16

With over $40 billion in funding each year, it’s highly unlikely that public transportation is going away anytime soon. In fact, in 2015 public transit achieved its third highest annual ridership in over 10 years with 10.6 billion trips occurring in the United States alone. As annual ridership continues to increase and public transit continues to play a more immersive role in our everyday lives, transit agencies must adopt the technologies and software needed to accommodate, and exceed rider expectations.

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Topics: Transit Trends

About the Ecolane Blog

 

Ecolane's blog is geared towards readers who are interested in perspective, opinion and strategy on the transit industry, scheduling and dispatch software technologies and related topics. 

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