Tag Archives: Tourism

Transit News Round Up

Every day we find transit news that is relevant and useful to you. But if you missed these daily posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Linkedin, you can find them all here in one place each week!

Here’s what happened in the transit world last week:

BUSES

Urban Dwellers Aren’t Abandoning Buses; Buses are Abandoning Them

This article from News Geography takes a look at why bus ridership is declining, and they say the data points to a decrease in bus service being the reason.

Should Colfax Give Up Car Lanes for Faster Bus Service?

Specifically about Denver, Colorado, but applicable to any city. Is this a trade worth making?

Back to College for Bus Workers

Bus Drivers in the UK are getting more than satisfying work and a paycheck from their jobs. They’re learning foreign languages and other fun and useful skills right out of the First Group bus company’s garages. What a great way for a company to care for the whole employee!

Euro VI Bus and Coach Registrations in 2015 Top 50%

Over half of the buses registered in 2015 met the Euro VI standard for emissions. The article talks about the reasons for this boost in compliance, and how the companies will continue to improve their reduction of emissions.

UK Bus Operators Make Case for Contactless Travel

Five leading bus companies, Stagecoach, First Bus, Go-Ahead, Arriva and National Express, are working to make contactless travel the standard in Britain by 2022.

All Electric Bus

Metro McAllen shared their excitement about their new all electric bus with a picture on Twitter.

SCHOOL BUSES

New School Bus Law to Improve Crossing Roads

Bus drivers in North Carolina are now using hand signals to let kids know if it’s safe to cross the road or not.

When a School Bus Full of Kids was Heading for a Ditch, This Boy Saved Them in the Most Amazing Way

14 year old Cory jumped into the driver’s seat and hit the brake when the bus driver became unconscious after a car hit the bus.

School Bus Fleet Launches New Website, New Look

Their new website is looking very nice with easier navigation and better response for mobile users. Check it out!

Connecticut District May Cut School Bus Aides

This school district wants to cut aides from its buses to save money, but some parents are in opposition. What do you think? Should all school buses have aides?

TRAINS

Transit Officials Unmask New CTrain Car

Check out Calgary Transit’s sleek new car! It’s “more reliable, more spacious, more accessible with a variety of new features.”

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Breaks Ground to Make Elon Musk’s Hyperloop a Reality

The Hyperloop is a vacuum tube that will be able to transport passengers at 800 MPH from one major city to another at a fraction of the cost of high speed rail.

Gothard Base Tunnel Freight Tests Begin

Switzerland is testing the world’s longest railway tunnel, which will have regular service by the end of the year.

Lyon to Torino TBM Completed

France is working on tunnels for a high speed railway.

First Metrolink F125 Completed

Metrolink in Los Angeles, California will have it’s first F125 Spirit diesel locomotive.

London Suburban Metro and Local Input to Franchising Proposed

The Department for Transport and Transport for London are working together to potentially create a London Suburban Metro.

 

STEAM TRAINS

Visitors Enjoy Steam Town on MLK Day, First of Several Free Admission Days Planned for 2016

The National Historic Site offered free admission on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so families could come learn about the history of steam trains.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

County to Provide Free Bus Passes for Those Registering to Vote

Milwaukee County will spend up to $20,000 to provide free bus passes for voters.

DOT Secretary Foxx Outlines Infrastructer Vision

US Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx discussed the infrastructure deficit and ways to improve planning for transportation dollars.

Top 10 Reasons to Thank Congress

The American Public Transportation Association lists 10 reasons to thank the US Congress for passing the FAST Act, the first long term transportation bill in 10 years.

A Good Transport Plan for Bristol

SusTrans lays out a plan that’s greener, cheaper and more efficient than reliance on fossil fuels.

TOUR OPERATORS

Polk County Orange Juice Being Flown to Iceland to Promote Polk Country Tourism at International Travel Trandeshow

Orange juice is being flown in to the 2016 Icelandair Mid-Atlantic Trade Show to show off one of Florida’s best features.

We’d love to hear from you!  Let us know what you think about any of these topics.

 

 

GTFS – Why you are missing out on Passengers

Increasingly, online maps and journey planning apps are the new “someone to ask” about how to get somewhere and it’s highly likely your business is not the answer they are giving…

It used to be enough just to get to #1 on Google search results.  However, that’s changed with the advent of Location Based Searches and Journey Planning smartphone Apps.  If your business involves taking passengers from A to B (and maybe back again), then to compete properly you now need your timetable, pickup and drop-offs appearing in these search results and journey apps.

More and more, tourists and irregular travellers are relying on these online mapping services to find their way around unfamiliar places and if your business is missing from these search results, then it’s highly likely they’ll choose one of the other alternatives offered.

To see if you or a business you know is missing out try this quick test.  Go to the following page (https://addtransit.com/missing-out.php) and enter one of the business’s pickup and destination locations.  If the business’s timetable and services do appear, then well done!  Otherwise, read on.

So, how do you get onto the online maps and journey planners?  Unfortunately, the schedule or timetable on your webpage, or your own custom built journey planner is just not enough.

You will need to create a GTFS file.  A GTFS file is a special type of file that contains information about your business, its schedule and timetable, and its routes and stops including their latitudes and longitudes.  The GTFS file is used by the online maps and journey planners to add your data to their systems.  There’s a number of ways to create a GTFS file, but if you have limited time or technical skills then getting a company such as AddTransit.com to do it for you, is a quick and cost effective solution.

Once the GTFS file is created, then you need to get the companies that use GTFS files to use it.  This normally involves adding a link on your website and submitting it to both GTFS directories and to the various search engines and journey planning app companies.  Each company has different submission forms, timeframes, and acceptance conditions.  If you got a company to create the GTFS file for you, then they should submit it for you.  Otherwise you’ll have to learn how to do it yourself.

Of course your timetable, stops and routes will change, so like all your marketing and customer service information, it’s important to keep the GTFS file up to date.  That way your passengers should be able to see your latest information.

Best of luck and have a great day.

Tour Reservation Software – Bookings and Tickets

If your tour involves travelling with multiple pick-ups and drop-offs, then you should have a look at AddTransit’s online tour reservation software.

AddTransit - Tour Reservation Software

We know that when running a tourism operation that has multiple pick-ups from different locations, that it is important to obtain this pick-up information at the time of booking.  If you don’t have a online tour reservation software or system that captures this information automatically, then you’ll to collect and compile this list manually later.. and you’ve got better things to do.

AddTransit gives you the ability to create an on-boarding manifest, understand capacity, forecast potential delays, and at the end of the tour know who needs to depart at each location.

You don’t want passengers missing their pick-up or at the end of a great tour, finding that sleeping passenger has missed their stop!

Have a good day.

 

GTFS Benefits – Easy for Tourists!

One of the reasons that GTFS is great is that it makes it easier for tourists.  This is one of the “soft” passenger GTFS benefits.

Before GTFS, when tourists visited a new city, if they wanted to use public transport they would need to learn how to use the cities public transport website, app or paper based schedules.  Each cities information was displayed differently, so even if they were regular public transport users at home, they still had a learning challenge when they went somewhere new.

GTFS Benefits -Tourism: Before GTFS

After GTFS is made available for a city, it means that tourists can use their preferred journey planner (e.g. Google Maps, Rome2Rio, etc.) to see the cities local information.  Now the tourists can focus on navigating their way around the city instead of learning how to navigate their way around the website, app or paper schedules.  An additional benefit, is that a number of these GTFS journey planners are multi-lingual, meaning that now the city is far more friendly to tourists whose primary language is different to the primary language of the city.

GTFS Benefits - Tourism- After GTFS

Of course, some may say that it makes cities less unique, however GTFS gives smaller cities the ability to present themselves in a way that their budget would never normally stretch to, and less face it.. not many people travel with the aim of experiencing/coming to grips with a cities public transport website/app.

So in summary, one of the GTFS benefits is that it’s a great way for making your city friendlier for tourists.  And for tourists, the benefit is they now can explore so many more places with a sense of confidence that they will get where they want to go, knowing when they have to leave and when they will arrive.

Happy travelling!