Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

North Carolina DOT negotiates free bus transfer access for Amtrak users

Intra-state supported rail services delivered by Amtrak often have specially painted equipment denoting the state, such as this locomotive on the Piedmont run.

North Carolina is one of many states that funds intra-state railroad passenger service between many cities.  California, Maine, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and others have comparable programs.

The NC DOT recently negotiated "last mile" agreements with local transit agencies so that train riders can transfer to local transit without paying an additional fee ("How transit partnerships will make your Raleigh-to-Charlotte train trip easier," Triangle Business Journal).

From the article:
The NC By Train transit pass will be available March 18 to passengers on the Piedmont and Carolinian trains in select cities for no additional charge.
Note that a form of this exists in the DC area with both MARC and VRE.  MARC pass holders--but not holders of an individual ticket--can ride MTA services in Baltimore (light rail, subway, bus), Metrobus in the DC area, and Montgomery County RideOn buses for no extra charge.

VRE riders can ride to and from stations via Metrobus, Fairfax Connector, and Prince William County's Omniride for no additional charge.

Southern California's Metrolink rail system has a similar program.

Likely others do as well.

In any case, more transit agencies need to think about the value of such agreements to facilitate convenience and ease of use, thereby encouraging more people to take transit.

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At 3:10 PM, Blogger mattxmal said...

This is great to hear. I remember local transit being included in regional rail tickets in Germany, and Swiss rail offers an add-on called City-Ticket that provides local transit at either origin or destination, or City-City-Ticket if you need both:

This seems to be a lot easier to pull off when tickets are checked by inspectors rather than automated. Then you need integrated fare media.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Hmm. Didn't know that about Germany and Switzerland. Interesting.

2. wrt the fare media point, you can see the advantage in how Ontario ports their PRESTO system to all the transit agencies across the province, but I don't know about use between systems.

but it happened because the province paid for the development of the system for Greater Toronto, and then figured out I guess it made sense to use it everywhere.

Similarly, I think because Maryland Transit Administration as a member of the WMATA Compact paid towards the development of the SmarTrip system, and then at some point, decided to use the same system in Greater Baltimore. So a CharmCard there is merely a branded version of the SmarTrip card, with a different name, but the same system.

Note that relatedly, Baltimore Metropolitan Council (the MPO there) just contracts out for their TDM services to the Commuter Connections TDM program of the DC area MPO.

... and again, because Maryland pays towards the StreetSmart traffic safety marketing program in the DC area, they use it elsewhere in Maryland.

At 1:15 PM, Blogger mattxmal said...

Here is the German ticket I used: unlimited slower rail service (including transit) for one day, with small upcharges for additional people

At 7:45 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Very cool. (Note that the Hamburg local system has a similar program for pass holders, for weekend service.)

It's also a great model for "special services" and groups more generally.

E.g., the problem with using rail for a group trip (even a couple) is that 2 fares is usually far beyond the cost of driving, even if you have to rent a car.

Or, I've suggested a similar kind of fare pricing for going to a sporting event, to encourage the use of transit.

Thanks for following up with the link.


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