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Explaining Public Transit to the Public

9:42 AM PST on February 8, 2013

It's not something you hear often in transit-rich areas, but in cities and towns across the U.S., the specter of the "empty bus" looms large.

Jarrett Walker at Network Blog Human Transit points us to a video from the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, in west-central Florida, which has produced a series of educational shorts on how its buses work. The latest episode of "Bus Buzz" addresses the myth of the empty bus. Using video from bus security cameras, a PSTA spokesperson explains how ridership ebbs and flows depending on the route and time of day.

This ingenious public relations campaign would translate well to most any transit system, regardless of size. With so many transit agencies trying to improve service, often while suffering from budget woes, there’s plenty of fodder for this kind of public outreach.

Elsewhere today: The Wash Cycle dissects the arguments in favor of a bill that would make bike helmets mandatory in Maryland; Bike Portland gauges reaction to President Obama's pick for Interior secretary; and Green Lane Project Blog examines how cyclist stress influences bike maps.

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