Mass Transit - 18

Better Bus Stops
says Alva Carrasco, transit and
rail market lead, Zero Emissions
Bus and Northern California,
WSP and president of the board
of directors for Latinos in Transit.
" Let's take care of our customers, and one of the biggest ways is
making them feel safe at the bus
stop, " Carrasco said.

Accessible to All Who
Want to Access It

Ferbrache describes EMBARK's
vision of equitable transit as " accessible to all who want to access
it. " Having ADA-compliant stops
with amenities is important but
distributing these enhancements
throughout the system to provide
equal access is just as vital.
" As soon as you start coming
outside of [downtown], the amenities start to vanish, " Carrasco
said. " So, what you see at the end
of each bus route, you won't necessarily see those amenities match
throughout the whole route. "
Ferbrache shares EMBARK
has been able to put up new
shelters all over the system by
primarily using ridership data
to help determine which stops
would receive them. But the
agency also considered specific stops that cater to customers
that need improved accessibility,
such as hospitals, social service
locations and neighborhoods
that more heavily rely on transit. To this extent, EMBARK has
partnered with some specific
neighborhoods to help fund the
installation of new bus shelters.
" We know through our resident surveys that 25 percent of
our community says, 'Hey, if I
could think about the top three
things that I think about when I'm
considering transit,' covered bus
shelters are one of those tops three
things, " Ferbrache said. " So that
tells us that the discussion we're
having about having high quality
bus stops is important. "
Like EMBARK, Cummings
explains RTC also looked at income levels, pedestrian safety

18 |

EMBARK

IN ONE year,
EMBARK
installed 100
bus shelters
throughout
its system,
increasing the
number of
covered bus
stops by 55
percent.

concerns, census data and the
location of essential services.
" Providing that accessibility
really opens all those resources
up to our full community, " Cummings said.

Are we there yet?

While providing access to vital
resources is crucial, considering
the actual location of the stop is
imperative. As Fuller puts it, " Do
we take people where they really
need to be? "
On the surface, this may seem
like a no brainer. But there are
hurdles agencies may face when it
is time to install a shelter or create
a new bus stop. Fuller and Carrasco explain one hurdle can be the
perception of who rides transit
and the stigma associated with
riders who hail from disadvantaged communities. For instance,
Carrasco describes a city that is
serviced by the Sacramento Regional Transit District light rail
did not want to have increased
service or late-night service because residents didn't want " those
people " coming into the city.
" But more good comes out
of providing more services than
people realize, " Carrasco said. " I
think we just have to do a better job in demonstrating that no,
crime isn't going to go up because
we now have later service. It's a
lot of these old perceptions that
transit riders are bad people and
it's just not true. "
Fuller echoes a similar
thought, sharing that a reason

Mass Transit | MassTransitmag.com | DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

transit service may stop short of
a job center, like a retail location,
may be because of the perception
of the riders, which can negatively impact the workers who need
to reach this final destination.
" Because Black and Brown people are riding on buses, [people
assume] they're automatically
going to come and do something
that's negative, " Fuller said. " So
therefore, if I eliminate transit,
they can't get there. That's crazy. "
Despite these hurdles, EMBARK has been having some success in coordinating with private
developers and corporate retail
locations to provide accessible
transit. Ferbrache says two examples that come to mind are the economic development agreement the
city has entered with Costco and
a new grocery store development
opening in a food desert.
" One of the things that kept
coming up was, is there access to
transit? So, I see that as a success, "
Ferbrache said. " And we've already had discussions with some
of the entities putting that project together about having a robust
transit stop at the grocery store. "
RTC has also had success in
working with the growing manufacturing and logistics companies
in the area, with several of the major employers reaching to RTC " on
the front end " before their business is established to ensure future
employees can access their jobs,
explains Michael Moreno, public
affairs manager, RTC, who notes
the development community is a
transit champion for stakeholders,
residents and customers.
" It takes a community to build
a strong transit service and program for everyone, " Moreno said.
And a strong transit service
that is accessible to all in turn creates a strong, vibrant community.
" Transportation is what makes
the world go around, " Fuller said.
" If you can provide quality transportation access, you can open
up the world to people and give
them life. "


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Mass Transit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mass Transit

Editor's Notebook: Recap of the Year in Two Parts
Q&A with FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams
People & Places
Imagine How COVID-19 Could Shape Mobility for People who Rely on Transit
A Gateway to a Quality Life
Rail Contractors: Skills Honed to Help
Transit Supplier Directory - Company Listings A-Z
Transit Supplier Directory - Product Category Listings
Products
Mass Transit - 1
Mass Transit - 2
Mass Transit - 3
Mass Transit - 4
Mass Transit - 5
Mass Transit - Editor's Notebook: Recap of the Year in Two Parts
Mass Transit - 7
Mass Transit - Q&A with FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams
Mass Transit - 9
Mass Transit - People & Places
Mass Transit - 11
Mass Transit - Imagine How COVID-19 Could Shape Mobility for People who Rely on Transit
Mass Transit - 13
Mass Transit - 14
Mass Transit - 15
Mass Transit - A Gateway to a Quality Life
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Mass Transit - 18
Mass Transit - 19
Mass Transit - Rail Contractors: Skills Honed to Help
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Mass Transit - Transit Supplier Directory - Company Listings A-Z
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