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Posted on May 16, 2019 at 11:20 AM by Brooke Kochanski
PART works alongside dozens of local, regional and state
transportation groups to ensure that the Triad’s transportation needs are being
met — as well as planning for future needs.
Since our inception in 1998, we’ve been studying things like
congestion, economic growth and transit planning. We’ve spent just over 20
years finding ways to ease major regional concerns like the impacts of growth
and development on mobility or how large-scale transit infrastructure can
improve our daily lives.
One such initiative was the Piedmont Together project,
which brought together 290 people across 13 different civic forums hosted
across the region. Working together with experts and Triad citizens alike we created
more than 200 ideas to improve transit throughout our region.
One of the biggest takeaways from that effort was the
discovery that the number one challenge facing residents was the lack of
transportation options. This routinely caused families and businesses economic
hardship, whether that came from difficulty accessing jobs or recruiting viable
The lack of mobility options fuels the focus of the regional
modeling program and planning efforts. This four-part
initiative combines regional travel and freight modeling, transit ridership
estimation, socio-economic analysis, and cutting-edge planning tools.
Thanks to this multi-level program, our Metropolitan
Planning Organizations (MPOs) are able to save approximately $100,000 each year
due in large part to our coordination efforts. The regional modeling
program is managed in conjunction with the North Carolina Department of
Transportation’s (NCDOT) Planning Department and the Greensboro, Winston-Salem,
High Point, and Burlington-Graham MPOs.
We also keep a sharp eye trained on specific transit
planning needs in the Triad. For example, a 2016 bus
advertising campaign allowed us to analyze and propose solutions for funding
and purchasing bus stop amenities.
And our access to vital data from federal, state and local
agencies such as the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. DOT and NCDOT allows us to dial
into numbers big and small, giving us the information we need to make impactful
Through organizations like the Piedmont
Transportation Professionals (PTP), we’re able to stay in touch with
present and future leaders in the transportation sector. PTP facilitates
training opportunities conducted within the Piedmont Triad for professional
engineers and planners. Its diverse array of in-person forums provides
continuing education, networking opportunities and resources, including the
ability to earn AICP and PE credits.
But what does this all mean for our everyday PART riders? It
means that we’re joining forces with some of the most forward-thinking transit
professionals on a daily basis to improve the services and access to
opportunity to people in the Triad.
From clean air quality initiatives to adding more PART
Express routes to underserved areas, we’re working hard to improve
transportation throughout the Piedmont Triad. We are working toward a cleaner,
accessible and effective future, and the activities of our vast planning
efforts are helping us get there together.
To learn more about our regional planning
efforts, click here.
Posted on May 8, 2019 at 8:21 AM by Brooke Kochanski
23,259,000: That’s how many trips
PART Express Buses and Vanpools have taken off the roads this year. All those
millions of trips have helped prevent 58 tons of pollutants from entering our
air and clogging our roadways (and lungs).
So why are we kicking off this post
with a (sorry-not-sorry) humblebrag? Because May is Clean Air Month, and we’re
proud of the contributions we’re making to improve air quality throughout the
Each May, the American Lung
Association helps raise awareness for air quality across the country by
highlighting both the challenges we face and their many solutions. Time and
time again, public transit is highlighted as one way to reduce the amount of
congestion-related air pollutants.
EPA reports that transportation accounted for 29% of all greenhouse gas
emissions in 2017, which means that changes to our daily commuting habits can
make a significant impact. Even more than industrial manufacturing and
electricity production, transportation accounts for the biggest percentage of
harmful emissions, primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
But how important is improving air
quality anyway? Here are some of the most common illnesses and conditions
associated with polluted airways:
In addition to the harmful effects
pollutants can have on people, they are also harmful to our environment. For
instance, fossil fuel consumption releases high levels of toxic gases like
sulfur dioxide into the air, which combines with other gases and water to
create harmful acid rain.
Those gases also contribute to the
broader effects of climate change, combining with carbon dioxide and other
greenhouse gases to trap harmful pollutants and increase global temperatures.
So how can you help improve air
quality? Taking public transit — even just a few times per week — is a great
place to start.
to a study by our friends at DART (Delaware Authority for Regional Transit
— no relation but we like their style), buses like our PART Express program “emit
only 20% as much carbon monoxide per passenger mile as a single-occupant auto.”
That’s because, on average, most
cars put close to 575 pounds of pollutants into the air each year. So every
trip you take on public transit helps reduce that number, which can have a
positive cumulative effect when more people follow your lead.
And if taking a PART Express bus
doesn’t fit into your daily commute, we can help you create a shared Vanpool
route with 7-15 of your co-workers. This program, part of our broad Commuter
Resources initiative, allows for the sharing of one van for a low monthly fee
that covers gas, insurance and maintenance. And as an added bonus, you’ll save
money while you’re helping to lower daily emissions!
You can also find ways to share
your daily commute with programs like Share the Ride NC. This free service
matches you up with other commuters in the Triad either looking for people with
similar commute routes. You can then either volunteer your car or join someone
else, helping reduce the amount of congestion and emissions throughout the
So how will you celebrate Clean Air
Month? Maybe you’ll take a PART Express bus the next time you want to travel
from Winston-Salem to Greensboro. Or maybe you’ll start a conversation with
your employer about launching a free Vanpool program. However you choose, we’d
love to help out in any way we can.
Because together, we can improve
not just our daily lives, but the life of our planet, too.
Be sure to participate in the Clean Air Challenge May 13th – 18th. All you have to do it take
a pic of yourself taking a clean commute and upload to Facebook. Be sure to tag
us! You could win a 31-Day Pass!
learn more, visit the Clean Air Website or call 336-883-7278.
Posted on April 30, 2019 at 2:25 PM by Brooke Kochanski