Category Archives: Transit Services

Japan Tests Self-Driving Bus Program for Elderly Residents

Japan Tests Self-Driving Bus Program for Elderly Residents

Self-driving vehicles could soon make our commutes a whole lot easier, but their benefits don’t end there. In the future, autonomous vehicles could offer elderly people an added measure of mobility as well.

In Japan, where roughly a quarter of the country’s total population is over the age of 65, senior mobility has become an especially important issue in recent years. In some rural parts of Japan, more than half of the population is over 65.

Now, in an effort to ensure its elderly citizens are able to access medical, banking and retail services, Japan is launching a trial program that will bring self-driving buses to rural communities like Nishikata, located about 71 miles north of Tokyo. In Nishikata, where bus and taxi service is severely limited, the self-driving buses will be a valuable asset to elderly residents who have struggled to make the trip to and from Tokyo in the past.

The first phase of the self-driving bus trials brought six driverless Robot Shuttles to Nishikata. These buses ferried elderly citizens of Nishikata from a nearby service hub to a municipal health facility and back. So far, the buses have been well-received by their passengers, although a few expressed interest in seeing them move a little faster. Currently, the buses are only traveling at a very conservative speed of about 6 miles per hour.

Future trials will expand the bus service to other rural communities, and continue to test operational safety in a variety of road conditions. Before too long, we may see self-driving shuttle buses getting put to work in retirement communities here in America as well.

RTC Transit App Is Saving Thousands of Dollars in Expenses

RTC Transit App Is Saving Thousands of Dollars in Expenses

Last year, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada released a smartphone app called rideRTC that allows riders to purchase tickets digitally and easily find bus routes to locations throughout Las Vegas. The app was designed to make it easier for visitors to find their way around the city, and eliminate barriers that might dissuade… Continue Reading

Experimental Singapore Bus Stop Aims to “Make Waiting Fun”

Experimental Singapore Bus Stop Aims to “Make Waiting Fun”

Generally speaking, bus stops aren’t known for being places that people look forward to visiting. Instead, these small, spartan shelters serve as waypoints on the path to bigger and better destinations. In many cities, however, commuters spend a significant portion of their work weeks waiting for rides at bus stations. That’s why transit officials in… Continue Reading

Las Vegas Gets a New Mobile Transit App

Las Vegas Gets a New Mobile Transit App

There’s some exciting news for public transit riders here in Las Vegas! The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) has released a new smartphone app that makes it easier than ever to purchase tickets and find bus routes around the city. The app, rideRTC, was developed in a partnership with Masabi, a London-based technology… Continue Reading

Study Finds Transit Riders Value Service Over Amenities

Study Finds Transit Riders Value Service Over Amenities

In recent years, transit companies all across the country have begun installing a variety of amenities such as Wi-Fi routers and charging stations in buses to try to incentivize ridership. It’s a strategy that makes sense in theory, given our ever-increasing dependence on handheld electronics and Internet connectivity. In practice however, it may not be… Continue Reading

Detroit Reveals Plans to Revitalize its Ailing Transit System

Detroit Reveals Plans to Revitalize its Ailing Transit System

In the first half of the 20th century, Detroit was one of the foremost hubs of industry and engineering in the United States. For decades, the Motor City manufactured millions of automobiles for drivers all over the world. Then, the energy crisis of the 1970s forced American automakers to scale back their operations, and the… Continue Reading

In San Francisco, Riders Can Now Pay Bus Fare With PayPal

In San Francisco, Riders Can Now Pay Bus Fare With PayPal

Over the course of the past couple of years, a number of industry disruptors such as Uber and Lyft have forced public transit services to rethink their business strategies to keep ridership levels afloat. San Francisco, a city with a long history of innovation in public transit, is the latest municipality to update their business… Continue Reading