Motorcoach industry touts FAST Act victory

From "Metro"

With Congress passing and President Barack Obama signing the new FAST Act surface transportation bill, the motorcoach industry is claiming significant wins.

Both the United Motorcoach Association and the American Bus Association thanked its members as well as staff who work on governmental affairs and legislation.

Major highlights of the new FAST Act include:

The passage of the FAST Act ends the immediate threat of raising Minimum Financial Responsibility Limits anytime soon and provides directives requiring the Department of Transportation conduct a comprehensive analysis of current limits.

The current charter service rule and protections for the private bus and motorcoach industry remain intact.

The creation of a National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure to assist the Department of Transportation with facilitating travel and tourism mobility.

The FMCSA Comprehensive, Safety, Accountability program was recognized as flawed, and will be reviewed to identify and provide for implementation of improvements.

The U.S. Department of Transportation will first need to conduct a study, specific to the passenger carrier industry, before FMCSA can proceed with a rule to increase insurance minimums.



Minn. Metro's services sets one-day record ridership mark

From StarTribune

Minn. Metro's services sets one-day record ridership mark

Metro Mobility tends to have some of its biggest daily weekday ridership during November and December.

Last week, the para-transit service that provides door-to-door rides for those who are unable to use traditional buses or trains surpassed 8,000 rides on a single day for the first time in its history.

The 8,123 rides on December 3 helped Metro Mobility

record its busiest week on record, with an average daily ridership of 7,500, said Metropolitan Transportation Services Director Arlene McCarthy during Monday's Metropolitan Council's Transportation Committee meeting.

Over the past three years, Metro Mobility has seen weekday ridership surge during the months of November and December, although the reason for it was not clear, said senior manager Andrew Krueger.

The uptick in ridership during the last two months of the year are indicative of overall growth of the service that provides rides for people with disabilities

In 2006, Metro Mobility provided 1,261,054 rides. By 2010 that has risen to 1,494,877 and to 1,977,205 last year. Projections for 2015 put ridership to nearly 2.1 million, according to the Metropolitan Council.

As ridership has grown by 66 percent, so has Metro Mobility's budget. It was $32 million in 2006. A decade later the budget for 2015 was $62.23 million. It is an expensive service with each ride costing about $26, covered through fares and money from the state.







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