METROLift patrons can now book trips online

Passengers on Houston’s METROLift paratransit service can now make trip reservations online.  Patrons can use MACS-WEB, which stands for METROLift Automated Computer System on the Web,  to book trips from 5 AM to 5 PM and cancel trips at any time. Link to full post in Write On METRO.

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Device helps disabled gain independence

Researchers at the University of South Florida developed technology to help individuals with cognitive disabilities to ride the bus. The Travel Assistance Device uses GPS technology inside cell phones to track riders. The phones vibrate to alert riders when their stop is approaching; a prerecorded message tells the riders to signal the driver to pull […]

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Solar panels make Akron’s transit center a leader in Ohio

The METRO Regional Transit Authority in Akron (OH) opens its new downtown transit center on January 18. In addition to new passenger amenities (including free wifi),  the facility incorporates green technology. Lining the roof are 432 solar panels, the largest single array in Ohio, which will provide about 33 percent of the facility’s annual needs. A […]

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UTA “tapping” into high-tech fare collection

Starting on January 1, the Utah Transit Authority introduces a contactless fare collection system.  New card readers can deduct fares from credit cards and validate prepaid media, including electronic farecards and student identification cards. In the initial roll-out, the system will deduct single-trip adult cash fares only. Fares for seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income […]

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Need a ride? Check your iPhone

The New York Times reported on two iPhone applications that support ridesharing.   Avego, a demonstration program based in Ireland,  will let drivers and prospective passengers share rides.  Passengers will pay 30 cents per mile, which will be shared by the driver and the company. Billing itself as an “experiment in social transportation,” Carticipate is a […]

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New Singapore smart card lets users do more

Singapore’s new e-z link card can be used for train and bus fares, electronic road pricing fees, convenience stores, and fast food restaurants.  Users can store up to $350 (US) on the smart cards.  Link to story in ContactlessNews.

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Internet access turns school buses into rolling classrooms

A pilot program in rural Arkansas enables students to access the Internet while riding the bus. The project, known as the Aspirnaut Initiative, gives some high-performing students laptops or video iPods and sets them up with online courses and educational videos during their long bus rides to and from school — a round trip that […]

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Los Angeles Metrolink plans live video cameras to monitor train engineers

“A cutting-edge proposal to focus live video cameras on engineers at the controls of Metrolink trains is drawing fire from employee groups and skepticism from California’s senior U.S. senator. In response to the Chatsworth disaster in September, which occurred just after the commuter rail service’s engineer illicitly sent and received cellphone text messages, Metrolink officials […]

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