Friday, March 15, 2013

Thank your driver on Bus Driver Appreciation Day

Logo for March 18: Bus Driver Appreciation Day
If you’re riding the bus on Monday, be sure to thank your driver. March 18 is International Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

The purpose of Bus Driver Appreciation Day is to celebrate the hard work of transit bus drivers and rail operators.

March 18 is the day that bus service is believed to have debuted in Paris in 1662, according to Randy Alfred writing for
“The system started with seven horse-drawn vehicles running along regular routes. Each coach could carry six or eight passengers. Some sources specify three routes; others say there were six, and that one of them was a circular route.
“The Carosses à Cinq Sous, or Five-Penny Coaches, were popular at first, but the novelty soon wore off. The system proved an idea ahead of its time.”
At, riders can print out and personalize one of several thank-you cards and can also spread the word through social media.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Record high for public transportation

According to American Public Transportation Association (APTA) president Michael Melaniphy, Americans took a record 10.5 billion trips on public transit during 2012. It was the second-highest ridership since 1957, according to the APTA.

APTA issued a report today documenting U.S. public transportation ridership.

“What is tremendous is that every mode of public transportation showed an increase in ridership,” Melaniphy said. “Public transit ridership grew in all areas of the country – north, south, east, and west — in small, medium and large communities, with at least 16 public transit systems reporting record ridership.”

This rider of public transit certainly saw an increase in bus ridership in Lake County, Calif. And she’ll have plenty of company in Jackson County, Ore.

During 2011-2012, according to the Lake Transit Authority (LTA) annual report, ridership increased by 68,000. The report was reviewed and accepted during the August 2012 LTA meeting.

Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) reported a gain in bus ridership by 22 percent from April to January compared to the previous year. With regular day service isolated from new evening and Saturday hours that took effect last April, ridership still increased more than 16 percent on average according to RVTD.

Monday, March 4, 2013

‘Bus stoppers’ at Rogue Valley Transportation District stops

In anticipation of riding public transit in Jackson County, Ore., I paid a visit this weekend to the Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) website. Among recent news, RVTD is going to install reflectors, “Bus Stoppers,” at 75 bus stop locations.

Illustration: "Bus Stopper" reflective device
“The Bus Stopper uses the headlights from the approaching bus to reflect a signal to the bus driver,” according to the RVTD. “When a person moves the handle up and down a flashing pattern is communicated to the driver so the driver knows a passenger is waiting. That flashing can be seen up to 1/4 mile away.”

RVTD drivers share a problem that I’ve observed at rural stops in Lake County, Calif. During dark hours, the drivers find it difficult to see passengers waiting at the stops.

According to RVTD, the Bus Stoppers will improve safety and help ensure passengers will be seen by the driver in time for him or her to stop the bus.

RVTD invites riders who would like to request a Bus Stopper for their stops to contact or 541-779-5821. For more infomation about the Bus Stopper, visit