Results for category "Information Station"

68 Articles

Will 2014 be Atlanta’s Year of the Bike?

Atlanta is on a mission to become one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States. Here are some of the recent bicycling highlights from around the city:

-Last February, the City Council passed a $2.5 million city bond to fund 15 miles of protected bicycle lanes in Atlanta. Last fall, Midtown saw the first of these with a new cycle track on 10th Street, creating six continuous miles of bike paths between Midtown and the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail.

-In November, the city unveiled the new Cycle Atlanta: Phase 1.0 plan, an implementation strategy to develop high-quality bikeways in the core of the city. Its recommendations include doubling the number of bike routes and seamlessly connecting bike paths, public transportation, and job centers throughout the city. Cycle Atlanta is a supplement to 2008’s Connect Atlanta plan, whose strategies for planning, building, and maintaining hundreds of connected bike paths across 34 neighborhoods are already being carried out.

 beltline trail design

-In 2013, Mayor Kasim Reed became a champion for Atlanta’s Streets Alive, a social bicycling event, and Streets Alive saw attendance increase from 15,000 bicyclists in May to an estimated 83,000 in October. Expect additional events in 2014, including a whole new West End route.

800px-ATL_streets_alive

-Today, talks are underway about hiring Atlanta’s first “Chief Bicycle Officer” and the PeopleForBikes Green Lane Project just announced that they’ve selected Atlanta as one of six new U.S. cities to join its highly successful, intensive two-year program to build better bike lanes.

What does this mean for Xpress riders? It’s getting easier every day to make a car-less commute in Atlanta. Xpress supports alternative commutes, and initiatives that help our riders continue to improve the environment, congestion, and the region’s quality of life. Read up on how to bring you bike on Xpress coaches.

Around Town: Coca-Cola

Last week, Xpress had the opportunity to attend a transportation fair at Coca-Cola’s Atlanta Office Complex (AOC) off of North Avenue. We were able to meet with many Coca-Cola employees and contractors that live outside I-285 but have never taken Xpress. Many of these employee were excited to learn that despite where they lived, an Xpress park-and-ride lot was convenient to their homes and commutes.

As an added benefit for Coca-Cola employees, Coca-Cola recently started a shuttle service that connects the Civic Center MARTA station to the AOC, the World of Coca-Cola Museum, and Coca-Cola’s newest downtown office space in the SunTrust Plaza Gardens Offices. The addition of this new employee shuttle, employees that travel from all around the metro Atlanta region are able to seamlessly ride Xpress into Atlanta and travel to any of Coca-Cola’s facilities.

Trips on the Coca-Cola employee shuttle run every 10 minutes, Monday-Friday, from 6:30am to 7:00pm.

Thank you to Coca-Cola and Central Atlanta Progress for hosting, organizing, and including Xpress in such a  terrific event!

403

Would you like to have an Xpress representative come to your office? Leave a comment below or contact Lauren Travis to discuss the type of event that would be a good fit for your company.

 

Wanted: Commute Warriors

One of the best ways to help improve Atlanta’s traffic and commute options is by helping researchers gather data about transportation system performance and travel patterns.  There’s currently an opportunity for Xpress riders to do just that.

Georgia Tech’s Civil Engineering Drive Lab is looking for volunteer data collectors. As a participant in the research, you’ll install an Android app that runs in background on your smartphone and records trip data such as distance, speed, and travel route using GPS coordinates. This kind of information helps traffic engineers analyze congestion patterns and improve the transportation planning process.

If you’re interested in participating, visit their website http://transportation.ce.gatech.edu/commutewarrior or email commutewarrior@ce.gatech.edu. Participation is voluntary and you can opt out at any time by uninstalling the App.

 

 

Farewell from GRTA’s Executive Director, Jannine Miller

Today is my last day as Executive Director, and I would like to leave with some parting words as GRTA continues its work to prioritize you, our customer.

Last month we unveiled the new Xpress Blog, which we hope will become a forum for riders to learn and share about commuting with Xpress. As we begin to celebrate our tenth year of service, Xpress will find new ways to sharpen this customer focus. We will undertake a comprehensive operations analysis, one that will set a course for the future success of the Xpress service and help our services align better with your commute needs. We hope that you will take the opportunity to engage in that effort.

Remaining in place is a superb staff of professionals who aim to improve Xpress every day. They are led by Kirk Fjelstul, who has served in several important roles since he joined GRTA in 2000, and he will now be the Acting Executive Director. I am confident that he—supported by a hard-working team of managers—will continue to steer GRTA and Xpress in providing even greater benefits to the region’s mobility options.

Big things are afoot, and I look forward to watching GRTA and Xpress move in bright new directions in the coming years. GRTA, its partners, and the Xpress ridership have been a family to me for the past three and a half years. While I will miss the public service we have done together, I will remain a proud supporter of the work GRTA and Xpress does for Georgia citizens and businesses.

Sincerely,

Jannine Miller

Giving Thanks

For the past seven years, Xpress riders have graciously opened their wallets and pantries to support those in our communities who would otherwise go hungry. This year was no different. Thanks to generosity of our customers and our drivers, Xpress was able to deliver more than 2,000 cans–literally a ton of food–to the 11Alive/Salvation Army Can-A-Thon on Friday, December 6. That’s more than twice as many cans as last year!

We also added a twist to this year’s can collection by seeing which route could donate the most items during the week.  We counted and tracked each and every can and when all the numbers tallied, Route 440 Jonesboro/Hampton/Downtown led the way with an impressive total of 250 donated cans. Congratulations R440!

Check the chart below to see how your route helped fight hunger.

2013 Can-A-Thon Results

2013 Can-A-Thon Results

We at GRTA were so impressed with how many cans Xpress customers donated that we decided to return our thanks to Route 440 Jonesboro/Hampton customers by teaming up with our Jonesboro Park-and-Ride’s next-door neighbor, Arby’s.

003carbys-logo-big

When Arby’s heard about the generosity of our customers, they were eager to help us provide a free sandwich (or two!) to our R440 riders.  Click here to learn more about Arby’s and their nationwide fight to end childhood hunger.

031

Special thanks to our customers for braving the 17 degree temperatures to pick up their sandwich!

046

 

Thanks again to R440 and all the Xpress customers who made a difference to those in need.

 

 

After the Storm: Stories from the front lines

We’ve already heard some amazing stories about the epic commutes people struggled through on January 28, and the profound courage and kindness strangers showed to one another. And we want to hear your story, too.

No one was in the thick of the storm quite like our bus drivers. We’ve always loved our drivers, but on January 28, they gained official hero status. The letters have been pouring in:

 

I’m writing to extend my gratitude to my bus driver, Dana, on Tuesday night during the snow and ice storm. I was riding the 3:45 PM Bus on Route 491 to Woodstock. She did an amazing job weaving her way through the traffic jam, up icy hills, and around abandoned cars. We never stopped during our 12+ hour journey out of Atlanta. It seemed surreal that we were able to continue all night long while so many other vehicles had to give up.

Her attitude remained positive and her determination never faltered. She stayed up all night long in order to get her 15-20 passengers home safely. Hearing all the stories from people in cars running out gas, getting stuck on hills, and stuck behind the traffic jam made me thankful I was on the GRTA Xpress bus! 🙂  And I couldn’t have asked for more perfect driver for the task! Dana was awesome!

Even some off-duty drivers stepped up to help the stranded people they were passing by:

Tuesday afternoon my dad stood outside his office building in downtown Atlanta, in the snow, waiting for a bus so he could get home to Newnan. I was in contact with him via text message asking him for updates, and most of his updates stated traffic was not moving at all, and there were no buses in sight. He contemplated staying in his office for the night, but with road conditions he was worried about when buses would run again, and if/when I’d be able to pick him up.

After two hours he spotted a bus, but the sign read “out of service”. My dad rides the bus every morning, and recognized the driver as someone who drives a Newnan route. My dad stepped up to the bus stop hoping the driver would stop. The driver did stop, he opened the door and said to my dad “are you going to Newnan?” To which my dad responded “I sure hope so”. The driver told my dad to get on board, the bus was empty. Others near the bus stop who had also been waiting asked the driver if he was in service. The driver told them all to get on board, and he changed his sign from “out of service” to “Newnan”. Numerous passengers and three hours later my dad and his fellow riders arrived safely in Newnan.

Finally, while our drivers were doing the white-knuckled impossible out on the roads, they were supported by dispatchers and staff who stayed at their posts through the night to guide them home safely:

I also want to thank those in dispatch. I’m just humbled by those who stuck it out to ensure the rest of us were able to get home. Thank you.

Thank you to all our drivers and staff who worked tirelessly through the night. We are pleased to report that they all made it home safe and sound.

And we cannot thank our passengers enough for their patience and support.

Do you have a story to share about your Xpress driver?