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Thoughts on Transit

Terminology Every Transit Agency Should Know (Part 1: A-B)

by Ecolane / November 19, 2014

Every industry has its own terminology which often puzzles the new and uninitiated. For example, a “crash” in ecological terms is a sudden population drop due to resource depletion, while a “crash” in project management means adding extra resources to shorten a project time frame. Obviously, “crash means something else entirely in transit. Become an expert in transit products and services!

Terminology can build bridges, and may span languages to unite people who work in the same industry but who live in different countries. There are some terms that hold special or valuable meaning in the transit world, and we present the first part of “Terminology Every Transit Agencies Should Know (A-B)" along with some of the key things transit agencies should be focusing on in order to succeed.

Alternative Fuels – Includes fuel options (such as methanol, ethanol, propane, compressed natural gas, liquid natural gas, biodiesel or electricity) with lower greenhouse gas emissions and lower pollutants than traditional high-sulfur diesel or gasoline fuel. Your transit agency may want to consider alternative fuels as a way to become more efficient, but did you know that increased operational efficiencies like reliable communications between dispatch and drivers, and vehicle location technology can also offer long-term environmental and financial efficiencies? 

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) - This is a civil rights law making it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public and private transportation, public accommodations and telecommunications. Is your agency acting within the confines of the law and making itself available to as large a market as possible? If you’re not sure, read the Transportation and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Q&A on FindLaw.

Auto Restricted Zone – Abbreviated “ARZ” this indicates an area where normal automobile traffic is prohibited or limited to certain times. Vehicular traffic may also be restricted to public transit, emergency vehicles, taxicabs, and in some cases, the delivery of goods. Has your agency taken advantage of areas like this to make a route more efficient? Real-time messaging and communications can help.

Automatic Vehicle Location System – AVLS is technology that tracks the current location of fleet vehicles to assist in dispatching and maintaining schedules, addressing customer inquiries, and more. Are you utilizing this type of transit technology? It not only modernizes your agency, but can provide an edge against your competitors who do not use it. 

Base Period – This is the period between the morning and evening peak periods when transit service is generally scheduled on a constant interval. It is also known as the “off-peak period.” Are you scheduling your vehicles in a way that efficiently covers this time of day? Many seniors take advantage of off-peak time and pricing, and may be a demographic your agency hasn’t previously sought to serve. 

For more ideas on how your agency can schedule your vehicles more efficiently, contact us.

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Tags: Transit Operations

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