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article imageMid-sized cities make transportation more accessible

By Tim Sandle     Dec 24, 2020 in Travel
Cities can improve their public transport network by embracing new technologies, such as shuttle services. At present many of these require the services of a human driver, but even greater efficiencies will come from autonomous vehicles.
A closed community is a region where public transport is limited and pockets of society are cut-off from each other. This can be addressed through the use of public transport. In addition, the wider use of public transport lowers the number of cars being driven and creates a greener environment with cleaner air.
Looking at some examples from the U.S., a key case is with Birmingham. The city has launched its anchor program called BhamStrong. This is a public-private partnership with a two-part economic stabilization strategy to fortify small businesses and empower workers to meet community needs. This included a free shuttle service to safely escort sick residents to a medical facility, where 12 percent of residents live in a household without a car and no viable mass transit options. This eliminated the need to choose between medical care and the financial burden of calling an ambulance.
A second example of a city being innovative, and one which resonates with the current health emergency, is Chattanooga. The city waived bus fares amid the pandemic in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect its drivers and passengers. The Chattanooga Area Regional Transit Authority (CARTA)’s free electric shuttle service offers riders access to multiple locations in the city’s downtown area.
Another example and one using a cleaner means of getting from A to B comes from the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA). The transportation agency has launched an innovative shuttle service in Florida with Jacksonville-based electric tuk tuk tourism company Go Tuk’n to provide low-cost tuk tuk rides to less-trafficked urban neighborhoods in the city that were not previously served by easily accessible public transportation. The transportation initiative increases accessibility for residents and increases the customer base for small businesses in those neighborhoods, accelerating growth in the city outside of its downtown core.
Mobility can be improved even further as autonomous shuttles near wider roll-out. Such devices are of a small footprint and offer all-round vision. Newer generation shuttles are quiet and produce zero-emission. Such forms of transportation can go indoors and over piazzas and roads and are able to perform many different tasks.
More about transportasaservice, Cities, Shuttles, Buses
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