Monday, June 28, 2010

Should transit agencies sell naming rights to stations?

Should transit agencies be able to sell the naming rights to transit stations? This is a question being asked all over the U.S. as transit agencies struggle for money during these tough economic times. PhiladelphiaNew York, and Miami have agreed to rename their stations, and Detroit and Pittsburgh are considering it.

At first glance it seems like a no brainer. We sell the rights to sports facilities, so why not transit stations?

But nothing is as simple as it seems. Two very important issues that need to be addressed when considering selling the naming rights to transit stops:

  1. Is the name of a station supposed to indicate a geographic location to assist riders as opposed to a corporate logo?
  2. Isn't corporate influence in the public sector already at an all-time high, and does this not continue to blur the lines between public and private sector?

What do you think?

Friday, June 11, 2010

What is your state doing about texting while driving?

Ever since July 2009 when the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute confirmed what we already knew, that cell phone use (talking and texting) while driving is dangerous (4 times and 23 times more dangerous than not, respectively), the country has been grappling with what policies should be put in place to minimize this risk.

The federal government convened a Distracted Driving Summit, and through executive order made it illegal for truck drivers and federal employees to text and drive. States have followed suite with their own cell phone and texting laws, and the question is when will a nationwide ban occur.

Georgia recently took one step closer when Gov. Sony Perdue signed an anti-texting while driving bill. The new  law, effective July 1, prohibits drivers of all ages from texting while driving. Young drivers with provisional licenses are banned entirely from using cell phones behind the wheel. Violators can receive a penalty of up to $150 and one point on their driving record.

Find out what your state is doing here.