2014 was a great year for transit - Excitement promised for 2015
Posted by: Stephen Rijo • 01.05.15
The holiday season and New Year are a great time to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year. 2014 was a great year for transit in the United States in more ways than you can count.
Here are some of the highlights:
- The proliferation of the smartphone improved real-time transit information, reduced idle time and enabled the use of innovative fee structures.
- New tech also created apps that use smartphones to help build stronger local communities.
- Cities continue to recognize the importance of building a safe multi-modal transportation network instead of a car-centric one and some have even argued for pay-per-mile fees.
- California has taken the lead on the high-speed rail push in the U.S. and also plans to tweak the “car first” Level of Service (LOS) planning metric to favor transit and complete streets.
- Driverless transit became a reality with Honolulu currently planning to build a line to its airport.
- Lastly, new and improved electric bikes and self-driving cars may help to close the first and final mile gap to increase the attractiveness of transit.
Transportation innovation was not limited to U.S. cities in 2014, as we saw several excellent indicators for the future of transportation networks come from abroad.
Singapore successfully rolled out a new early bird transit initiative that reduces, and sometimes completely eliminates, fares for off peak usage.
Several European countries debuted on-demand transit systems and some US cities are considering BETA testing for similar systems.
A few other European countries have also enacted remarkable car restrictions in an effort to combat traffic in city centers.
Denver leads the way
In addition to the aforementioned transit innovations from across the U.S., and around the globe, 2014 saw Denver continue to lead the charge in Western U.S. transit and was recognized as a truly progressive transit city.
RTD has continued its tireless efforts to build out FasTracks and has numerous new lines planned to open in 2016 and 2018.
The West Rail Line has continued operations and has effectively improved mobility options within the corridor.
After recapping the local, national, and global transportation innovations from 2014, I cannot help but be excited for what is in store for 2015. RTD’s efforts in 2015, and the years that follow, will continue progress toward completing FasTracks and creating a truly multi-modal transportation network for the Denver region.