Entries Tagged 'Transportation' ↓

On-Demand Transit Pilot RFP

I was able to find the RFP on Friday when it was released.

LINK TO ENTIRE PDF DOC

As we look at Transit as a burden, KC looks at it as an investment in workers

What a concept! KC has made public transit FARE FREE and said it will only cost them $8 million a year, but the economic impact is well worth it. DUH!

“I think it would make the bus system stronger, not weaker, and would probably bring in more revenue, not less.” 

I also loved this quote from the Editorial board at the KC Star when people asked where they will find the money;

“A good first step would be to stop giving away tax revenue to developers.

Yeah, maybe the AL Ed board should send the same message to our city leaders. Stop the corporate welfare in this city and we can find the money for all kinds of public programs.

Transit Presentation

I was finally able to get a copy of the presentation from Monday’s meeting. It wasn’t emailed until Thursday. It is STILL not available online. The city attorney’s office and the clerk’s office needs to have a serious conversation with ALL department heads about the open meetings laws. Two of the attendees (city managers) should have known better since they have both worked for the city for over a decade.

Here is link to what a ‘REAL’ transit study looks like (Done for the City of Missoula, MT)

Important Sioux Falls meeting on Monday about Transit Changes

This email was sent out today from concerned citizens about the transit meeting coming on Monday;

You might want to come to the PTAB meeting on Monday (Oct.28), 3:45pm, if you have an interest in climate change and/or how our bus system might be changed. The “Core Team” (a group of city employees) will present their plan to pilot an “on demand” bus system next year.

Some concerns:

1. If climate change is real, our city’s transit goals must include increased bus ridership, along with more walking and bicycling. Why? Transportation is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. As far as has been described so far, the plan has NO GOAL or plan for increasing ridership or reducing our city’s carbon footprint.

2. “On demand” plans have been tried in other cities enough now that we know they are less efficient than fixed-route systems. With rare exceptions, few carry more than five riders per hour. Yet our current bus system has only one route averaging less than 10.

3.  $190,000 city funds will be used to develop software and education for the on-demand system on Saturdays. Might we ask for matching funds for promoting ridership on the fixed-routes Monday thru Friday? Sioux Falls has never tried a creative, extensive ridership campaign.

4. . . . You may have other concerns, questions, etc.  (people who don’t speak English, people who don’t have phones, people with cognitive  disabilities, children. …)

At least we will learn more about the pilot project plan (and maybe a better idea of how our city views public transit than was expressed in the Argus* article this past Monday).

The meeting is in the new city building on Dakota Ave, across the street from the downtown library, conference room on the main floor. The agenda and maybe even materials should be posted here by tomorrow (Fri) afternoon:

The bus is too important for people who need it to get to work and get around, and how we do transit is too important to the climate, for us to let this matter slide by. 

Thanks for your attention to this even if you can’t come on Monday.

*This line in the Argus article has many citizens concerned;

A team of city staff tasked with revamping the Sioux Falls public transit system of fixed-route busing is readying to launch a pilot program to test whether a request-based ride structure could replace the city-provided service that’s been hemorrhaging taxpayer dollars for decades.

A citizen who sent me the above email had this response to the use of the word ‘hemorrhaging’;

Buses are a city service. Riders’ fares should not be expected to cover the cost. Bus riders are helping to save wear on the streets, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, keep our air clean, reduce traffic congestion, and help reduce the need to use city space and funds for parking. As such, the bus system is a service to all of us. Its costs are costs, not losses, and for sure should not be put in such a negative light as “hemorrhaging”, any more than the costs of streets, police dept, libraries, and other city services.

I would agree. I would also add that a viable transit system adds to economic development. Having a way for people to get to work who can’t drive (for whatever limited reason) saves tax dollars in less government subsidies.

I can’t attend the meeting due to it’s (unfriendly) citizen participation time and a form of ‘soft’ censorship, but I encourage others to let the city know the importance of public transit, and how the ‘big cities’ across this country have found a way to make it viable and useful.

City of Sioux Falls announces this morning transit system going to shuttle service

Not sure if this will be a short term experiment, but the Innovation office announced this morning in a DTSF meeting (According to councilor Stehly) that they are going to an on demand shuttle service using phone aps.

While I know they have been discussing this for places that are NOT served well by the bus routes, I don’t think going ALL shuttle service would be a good idea. You are going to still need fixed routes, and what about people with NO phones?

Also, what would be the cost of eliminating full-size buses and moving to shuttles?

It will be interesting to hear the details of the plan. I guess we will find out in an informational in July.

Sioux Falls Transit Innovation Meeting • 4/5/2019

The meeting was set. The Romantix Annex was the place. The date was set. The reservations were made. The reason was transit. The subject was buses. The facilitator was Bloomberg. The audience was well, there. The result was a lot of Post-it notes.

So the cameras showed up to the reserved 1st floor meeting room only to find a small note posted on a door saying the meeting was moved to the “unused” 3rd floor of the Romantix Annex City Center Administration Building.

It was interesting to read some of the Post-it Notes and hear the thought processes. We’re still wondering what the actual report is going to be. There were many preconceived thoughts still floating about the room based on the ideas perpetuated by the previous administration’s desire to quit wasting resources on anyone who couldn’t live in the southeast part of town or high in the sky apartments. It is always interesting to hear where policy makers are heading with their thoughts, whatever they may be.

You remember the building, our last mayor insisted was needed back in 2015 to use up our 2nd penny road, transit and infrastructure funds. This was our first time seeing the “empty” 3rd floor. Here’s a thought, as long as the town has paid for the space, why not put a decent set of speakers in it and start using as an actual meeting room? The walls have painted drywall so make it a flexible use room? The room worked well for this kind of meeting except for the sound. Don’t put a fancy ceiling in the area so it can remain flexible. Just a thought…

City version below;

What has Councilor Rex Rolfing learned in 7-1/2 years? Not much.

Take off your hat and listen to my genius.

I guess I didn’t have too many high expectations out of a retired insurance salesman anyway.

At the council meeting tonight during the parking ramp debate, Councilor Stehly showed an image of her postcard she recently mailed out that listed all the councilors contact information (city email addresses and phone #’s NOT private). Rolfing, being the ignoramus he normally is reiterated to the public that he has told Stehly not to use his public contact information on her mailings she pays for personally.

Not up to you Rex, it is public information. The tax payers pay for that service and we OWN your public email address and phone number, you do not. And since you don’t own them Rex, you have NO authority to tell Stehly whether she can use them or not.

What’s that saying about a mud fence?

Who’s on Second? Right on Red?

I often tell my fellow bike riders in Sioux Falls, you must ALWAYS ride defensively. Why? Because like there is bad golfers and bad fisherman, there are bad drivers. Sure, if some of these people would put down their cheese burgers, stop yelling at their kids or put down the cell phone, they may be better. But I can’t change that. And little white signs can’t change that either.

Many people are still butt hurt that the red light traffic light cameras were taken down. “Don’t you understand? Someone died.” Yes, ONE person died because ONE other person was a careless driver. My assumption is that careless driver was charged with a crime. So why punish the rest of us who are good drivers, or good pedestrians or good bicyclists?

The cameras were essentially taken down because they were not photographing the license plate with the driver, so there was constitutional law stuff going on.

But either way, as I have always understood it, whether there is a camera, a light or a sign, state law permits you to turn right on red AS LONG AS you come to a full stop, and yield in both directions before proceeeding. I have never waited for a light to turn green before turning right on red and I have never caused an accident or ran over anybody. Why, because I follow the very simple law of stopping and yielding before proceeding.

Yes it is tragic that pedestrians and bicyclists get ran over and die from reckless drivers, but why punish the good drivers for their crimes?

Solar Speed Signs just make sense!

imag0346_1

Besides people shooting themselves over a meth deal in Sioux Falls these days, we have another epidemic, speeding in residential areas. If I hear one complaint more from residents about crime, it is people who speed through sensitive areas (mostly school zones). There is a solution, and it is quite effective, and rather inexpensive. Small towns across South Dakota have been using solar powered flashing speed signs. Not only are they pretty frickin’ handy, they can also be moved quite easily using a bracket system.

Councilor Stehly is pushing for ‘testing’ these signs. She was voted down during the budget process, but she tells me that she is still pushing for them. Like snow gates, Theresa won’t give up until they are implemented or at least tested.

Our chief traffic engineer responded to a series of questions from Theresa;

From: Hoftiezer, Heath
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2016 10:52 AM
To: Stehly, Theresa <TStehly@siouxfalls.org>
Subject: Responses to Speed Trailer Questions

1. You indicated that we are using the speed safety signs on poles within school districts only. The city currently does not own any for residential areas.

That is correct, so far we have limited usage to School Zones.

 2. We talked about the areas that are high complaint areas.  Right now, how often do we put the speed trailers out. How many speed trailers do we have and how long do you let them sit in an area? How do you decided who gets to have the speed trailers?

There are three speed trailers that are moved around to different locations on a weekly basis from Spring thru Fall.  A list of speeding complaint areas that is generated by calls to Police, Public Works, City Clerks, Mayors Office and received CRM’s is used to determine where the trailers are placed.

 3. We talked about the speed trailers we currently have sticking into the roadway. It is also my understanding that they are bulky and labor intensive to move.

Depending on location on narrower streets the trailers can influence traffic quite a bit due to protruding into the driving area (this can be good and bad).   The trailers generally take up a parking spot in order to be placed so they are not able to be placed at locations that do not have parking.  It takes approximately one day for a person to pick-up and deploy the three speed trailers that the City currently has.

 4.  You seemed to view the addition of pole mounted solar speed signs in notorious complaint areas as a possible benefit for our community. You said you would appreciate it and they would be used  if they were available.

That is correct.  We have explored the concept of what you are proposing a couple of years ago and our biggest concern was what the expectation would be for relocation timelines.  The 3 month rotations that you were talking about would be reasonable to work with.

 Please let me know if you need anything else.

 Heath R. Hoftiezer, P.E., PTOE • Principal Traffic Engineer City of Sioux Falls

Stehly also got an estimate from a traffic control company;

ESTIMATE FROM:  Radarsign, LLC

Price estimate for 10 solar 400 speed signs for Sioux Falls South Dakota.

Dimension 4ft 5ft

35mph

Signs 10 $–3,595 per sign $35,950

Brackets Included

Postage 160 per sign $1,600

Traditional speed limit sign $25 per sign $250

Customer Discount -$5,000

Total cost $32,800

Warranty……..2 years

Easy to Move

Low Maintenance

Tracking information available for $ 250 per sign / $2,500

Can be mounted on light pole or traditional pole

Testimonial;

Image

FREE Summer Transit rides for youth a success?

I would think so, with 10,334 rides provided and 358 passes obtained (that’s an average of about 29 rides per pass!) this was a great introduction to the transit system for our youth. Another program recently implemented was FREE rides for vets, which I also think is wonderful.

Councilors plan to revisit the program next year for the entire summer.

But isn’t this a little ironic that we are talking about paratransit being self-sufficient and raising rates while we are giving youth and veterans free rides, which I am all for. But let’s be fair and realistic. The paratransit ship can be tightened up without raising rates.

And speaking of FREE summer youth programs, whatever happened to the Huether Family indoor tennis facility providing free lessons to underpriviledged youth in our town? I haven’t heard about one single session held all summer. I think maybe it is time the city council requests the $500K in taxpayer money be given back to the citizens so we can spend it on something more wise.