StarMetro Adds New Route to Seminole Express Service
'Torch' Will Help Serve Students Along High Road and Ocala Street - Beginning tomorrow, students will have a new way to travel to the campus of Florida State University (FSU) - the Torch. This new route will join StarMetro's Seminole Express service, which provides direct connections between the college and nearby housing areas for students.
"While working closely with FSU Transportation and Parking services, we noticed that there was an overcrowding issue on the Garnet route along High Road and Ocala Street," said Ron Garrison, executive director of StarMetro. "To eliminate this issue, we decided to add another route, the Torch, which would work in tandem with the Garnet route to provide more service to students in this area."
The Torch route, which operates on the same streets as the Garnet route, will run in a counterclockwise fashion, while the Garnet route will run clockwise. This addition of the Torch route and its circulation pattern with the Garnet route along the loop of High Road, Ocala Street and Tharpe Street will allow students more opportunities to board the bus.
During fall and spring semesters, the Torch route will operate on a 20-minute frequency between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
StarMetro Wins Urban Community Transportation Award
Last week, the Florida Commission of Transportation Disadvantaged recognized StarMetro with the coveted Urban Community Transportation Coordinator of the Year award. This award honors StarMetroΓ??s efforts for creating innovative ways to improve transportation for disadvantaged citizens in the Capital Region.
"We are greatly honored by this prestigious award as it distinguishes StarMetro as the Community Transportation Coordinator that best serves the transportation needs of elderly, disabled and low income citizens who live in urbanized communities throughout the state," said Ron Garrison, executive director of StarMetro.
Last year, StarMetro implemented a United We Ride Regional Mobility program, which serves elderly and disabled citizens in Leon, Gadsden, Wakulla and Jefferson counties. Through this program, citizens benefit from one-on-one training on how to navigate available transportation options.
Also, StarMetro created a Capital Region Human Services Mobility Coalition last year to further improve regional transportation coordination among public and human service agencies.
Another reason StarMetro earned this honor was due to its creative funding. Most Community Transportation Coordinators in the state limit transportation to only medical needs; however, StarMetro uses a combination of funds to provide transportation to senior, disabled and low-income customers for work, education, leisure and medical.
StarMetro Route Changes Effective August 4
StarMetro, the City of Tallahassee's mass transit system, will make a few minor route and schedule changes effective Saturday, August 4.
These changes include:
- Azalea - the schedule will change slightly, the 40-minute headway will remain the same.
- Canopy - the eastbound trip will now access Governor's Square Mall via Governor's Square Blvd., not Park Ave.
- Forest - the schedule will change to reflect 30-minute headway.
- Moss - the schedule will change slightly to allow for better on-time performance, the 20-minute headway will remain the same.
- Evergreen - the middle portion of the route near Governor's Square Mall will change. Evergreen eastbound will now take Reece Park Ln. to access Governor's Square Mall. Evergreen westbound will take Reece Park Ln. into Governor's Square Mall and exit via Governor's Square Blvd. and Magnolia Dr. returning back to Park Ave. In addition, the first three trips into the mall have been eliminated.
- Tall Timbers - the southern portion of the Tall Timbers route will now follow the turn-by-turn pattern of the Red Hills route.
StarMetro's Mobility Coordinator Wins National Award
Last week, the Community Transportation Association of American (CTAA) in conjunction with the National Resource Center for Human Transportation Coordination (NRC) named StarMetro's Mobility Coordinator, Andrea Rosser, as the Mobility Manager of the Year.
As the Mobility Coordinator, Rosser works with local agencies to help coordinate travel planning needs among senior, disabled and low-income citizens who receive assistance from human service programs. Rosser also provides travel training to educate citizens on their available transportation options and helps them better understand how to navigate existing transportation systems.
Last year, Rosser and her staff assisted nearly 200 citizens with transportation issues.
"This year was the first time that CTAA [and NRC] recognized mobility management at their annual awards ceremony in Baltimore," said Joann Hutchison, NRC regional ambassador. "As the United We Ride ambassador for the southeastern region, including Florida, I could not be more proud for this recognition. Andrea demonstrates the true qualities of someone who can bring diverse groups together to identify and implement new ways to address our growing unmet transportation needs."
Rosser possesses a graduate degree from Florida State University's Urban and Regional Planning program and has 19 years of experience in the safety and transportation business.
"By 2030, one in four Florida drivers will be over the age of 65," said Rosser. "This is one of the reasons why it is so important to educate everyone on the transportation choices currently available and to work with other agencies to provide additional transportation options."
StarMetro Signs Contract with All-Electric Bus Vendor
StarMetro, the City's mass transit provider, is one step closer to making its fleet more environmentally friendly. StarMetro signed a contract with Proterra Inc. for the construction of three brand new, zero emission, all-electric buses and a charging station.
"By replacing three of our diesel transit buses with all-electric buses, StarMetro would realize the elimination of almost 260 tons of carbon dioxide annually," said Ron Garrison, executive director of StarMetro. "StarMetro is dedicated to exploring and providing new, green technologies for the citizens of Tallahassee, and these all-electric buses are an integral part of that commitment."
Last year, the Federal Transit Administration awarded StarMetro over $5 million dollars in monies from the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) II grant to pursue all-electric buses.
"We hope to have these new buses on the streets serving our customers in the spring of 2012," Garrison said.
Proterra Incorporated developed and has deployed the world's first battery electric transit bus that can charge to full power in under ten minutes. Its first fleet is in operation at Foothill Transit in Pomona, Calif. The next two locations where its electric buses will become operational are San Antonio, Texas, and Tallahassee.
"We are thrilled to be working with StarMetro on this deployment," said Marc Gottschalk, chief business development officer for Proterra. "They are on the leading edge of transit agencies who recognize that battery electric buses are the best option to combat unpredictable fossil fuel prices while providing passengers a clean, quiet ride to their destination."
StarMetro Launches Fixed-Route Feeder Service
Serving the Needs of Miccosukee Hills Residents - Beginning this Thursday, August 18, StarMetro will begin providing fixed-route feeder service to the residents of Miccosukee Hills, a housing complex for seniors and disabled persons located at 3201 Miccosukee Road.
"Currently, we serve the entrance of this complex with the San Luis route, which runs along Miccosukee Road," said Ron Garrison, executive director of StarMetro. "However, we have received numerous requests from residents to include service in the housing complex."
To provide fixed-route service to Miccosukee Hills residents, StarMetro will use Dial-A-Ride vehicles to transport customers to adjacent fixed-route transfer locations. These StarStop transfer locations are located at:
- Capital Regional Medical Center, where customers may transfer to the San Luis route, and
- The intersection of Miccosukee Road and Capital Circle NE, where customers may transfer to the Red Hills route.
This new feeder service will operate Monday through Friday and adhere to StarMetro's holiday schedule. Pickup times in the Miccosukee Hills complex will be at 6:55 a.m., 9:11 a.m. and 1:06 p.m. Drop-off times will be at 9:35 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4:16 p.m.
The cost for this service is $0.60 for senior and disabled customers and $1.25 for the general public. Feeder service customers will receive a transfer ticket, which may be used to transfer to a fixed route.
StarMetro staff will evaluate the performance of the feeder service six months after implementation. Additional service adjustments may be made based on ridership and specific service needs.
"It is important for us to listen to our customers, especially those customers with special needs," said Garrison. "To accommodate the request for service from residents of Miccosukee Hills, we really had to get creative; now, I think we have a solution that works for everyone."
For More Information
For more information about StarMetro services, please call StarMetro's main office at 891-5200. Other ways to view information include liking StarMetro's official Facebook page at Facebook.com/starmetrotransit or by following the organization on Twitter at Twitter.com/ridestarmetro.