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National Transit Renewal Resource Portal

America's Open and Transit's Open Final Report - August 2021Throughout summer 2021, FTA facilitated a national conversation to highlight how transit agencies have kept transit open during the most significant public health crisis we have ever seen in this country.

FTA gathered ideas from three listening sessions that featured 45 panelists representing transit agencies and stakeholder and advocacy groups. They focused on best practices to renew ridership, safety, community partnerships, and how to build back better.

Learn more about successful practices transit agencies nationwide are using to renew ridership and consider adapting to fit local aspirations and needs.

FTA National Transit Renewal Summit Highlights Best Practices by Transit Industry Partners to Increase Ridership

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today held a National Transit Renewal Summit to summarize the "best of the best" strategies shared by transit agencies, industry partners and advocacy organizations. The Summit culminated a series of events to promote tools to safely improve ridership on transit systems while continuing to protect riders and workers across the nation. More than 3,000 transit professionals and stakeholders joined FTA’s national conversation held throughout July and August... Read More.

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National Transit Renewal Collaborators

Representatives from dozens of agencies and organizations lent their expertise to FTA’s America’s Open and Transit’s Open national conversation.

Summit and Listening Sessions

  • National Transit Renewal Summit
    USDOT, FTA and partner perspectives on best practices and messages to increase transit access and ridership gathered from the national conversation FTA facilitated.
     
  • Listening Session 1
    This session highlighted the most promising strategies to encourage riders to get on board.
     
  • Listening Session 2
    This session focused on ways to increase ridership with a focus on safety.
     
  • Listening Session 3
    This session explored ways to increase ridership with a focus on building community partnerships.

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Metra, the commuter rail agency serving the Chicago area, has expanded service, debuted a reduced fare pilot program, launched an onboard rider survey and reached out to students and others, part of the agency’s work to convey its flexibility and that America’s Open & Transit’s Open. Metra provides service to and from downtown Chicago with 11 routes totaling nearly 500 miles. https://metra.com/
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is reminding Philadelphians America’s Open and Transit’s Open … and SEPTA is the Way to Go. The agency is promoting user-friendly features such as a pay-as-you-go e-Travel Wallet and free parking at all SEPTA lots through October. iseptaphilly.com/CommutersChoice
St. Louis Metro’s new Transit app helps riders plan trips, pay fares & check real-time arrivals. People with a wait of 30 minutes or more can request a lift using a ride-share service - a pledge to show America’s Open & Transit’s Open bit.ly/2XALo1C
America's Open & Transit’s Open! The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada is helping people returning to work with its fare-free Try Transit program. Since May, the transit agency has partnered with 99 businesses in the Las Vegas Valley to distribute nearly 30,000 free 7-day passes for distribution to new hires and returning employees. https://bit.ly/3xrL95l
America’s Open & Transit’s Open! Ridership on Bee-Line Bus in Westchester County, NY has climbed to 52% of 2019 levels. In July, county officials hosted a press conference at a popular children’s park to encourage residents to ride. https://bit.ly/37ytFtl
America’s Open & Transit’s Open this summer! To help kids & young adults get to activities & summer jobs, Utah Transit Authority is offering a youth fare deal they call a Rider’s License: unlimited rides for $49. Those aged 6−18 can use the Rider’s License on FrontRunner, TRAX, streetcar & buses to get to places like City Creek Center, libraries, The Leonardo & more. Check it out at rideuta.com/riderslicense
Kansas City Area Transportation Authority CEO Robbie Makinen on why transit matters, part of FTA’s America’s Open & Transit’s Open national conversation. https://bit.ly/3ipBffW
The tourists are back in Biloxi. Demonstrating America’s Open and Transit’s Open, Coast Transit Authority in Gulfport, Mississippi, reports tourism ridership on its buses, trolleys, the Beachcomber & casino hopper at 10% more than 2019 levels. To encourage locals to get on board, the agency promoted a fare-free day on July 23, reminding residents transit can save money, boost the economy & promote a greener community. https://bit.ly/3xdatLW
TrinityMetro is telling Fort Worth, Texas, residents America’s Open & Transit’s Open and it’s time to get on board. The agency highlights the convenience of taking bus and rail to work, Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and summer fun like the Fort Worth Zoo – fare-free using Trinity’s ZipZone ride-share service. In addition to providing free masks, Trinity Metro uses an advanced air filtration process to cleanse the air onboard. https://ridetrinitymetro.org/covid19 
Bay Area Council, a SF Bay Area organization, launched a #TixforTransit contest to promote transit agencies adding back routes & more frequent service. Riders snapped a selfie riding Bay Area Rapid Transit, SFMTA | San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Caltrain & others for a chance to win tickets to local sporting events. bayareacouncil.org/tixfortransit
When it’s sizzling hot, take the bus to the beach! DART First State takes beach-goers to Rehoboth Beach’s downtown and beachfront, minus the traffic & parking fees. America’s Open & Transit’s Open! dartfirststate.com
America’s Open & Transit’s Open! In New Orleans, riders can use their #jazzypass on all modes: bus, streetcar or ferry. New Orleans RTA is back & making transit in #NOLA better than ever! norta.com/returntoservice.
America’s Open & Transit’s Open! MTA’s #TakeTheTrain #TakeTheBus messages are appearing on digital signs, buses & billboards. Ridership is up throughout the nation’s largest transit system, dwarfing the combined 2020 average on MTA, LIRR & Metro North Railroad. https://bit.ly/3i6VQ8K
HIRTA Public Transit is engaging riders & others in central Iowa to let them know America’s Open and Transit’s Open! The campaign focuses on rider outreach, with positive results – a 9% increase in riders in June compared to May – and messaging on bus-cleaning protocols and safety measures to reassure riders, plus a monthlong wellness challenge promoting self-improvement tips. HIRTA's health priority can be found on their website: https://bit.ly/3xKEiou
Echoing the spirit of America’s Open & Transit’s Open, NC Transit Agencies GoRaleigh, GoTriangle, GoDurham, & Town of Cary, NC's Go Cary have suspended bus fares until June 2022. Transit agencies are doing their part to ease the burden on riders who rely on transit to get to work, health care, grocery shopping, and other important places. Free fares are made possible by FTA COVID-19 recovery grants. https://bit.ly/3B7hUYh
As Americans are going to work, shopping and visiting friends and loved ones, transit ridership is rebounding in communities across the nation – more than 80% over early 2020 levels in some areas. https://bit.ly/3ziCP9a
America’s Open & Transit’s Open! Ridership on the Chicago Transit Authority transit system has doubled since the start of the year & continues to grow. Since January, ridership has jumped 56% to 4 million rides per week. Rail ridership was up 94% - in part thanks to CTA’s “When You’re Ready, We’re Ready!” outreach campaign promoting cleaning & safety protocols, a program to improve 125+ stations, and a summer fare discount program. bit.ly/CTAready 
The Portland Bureau of Transportation is showing how America’s Open & Transit’s Open by encouraging residents & visitors to “get outside and get going” by riding transit to every activity the city has to offer, including a video of The Unipiper taking a TriMet bus downtown. bit.ly/3ko9eHo 
Denver RTD Train me out to the ballgame! In Denver, RTD provided rides to thousands attending the MLB All Star Game events last week –36% more riders for the July 12 Home Run Derby than the average for 3 previous weeks. Taking the train & bus to Coors Field in downtown Denver took hundreds of cars off the road, reduced emissions & helped fans have an easier travel experience – Denver knows that America’s Open and Transit’s Open! https://bit.ly/3hQnsyM
Rogue Valley Transit in Medford Rogue Valley Transit in Medford, OR keeps in touch with its riders, using eye-catching social media & other tools to engage the community with must-have travel info & contests with prizes. Kudos to our transit partners for their work to convey America’s Open and Transit’s Open! https://rvtd.org/
lady drumming America’s Open and Transit’s Open. Here’s how WMATA in Washington, DC is encouraging people to get on board. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sruvg2lRv8w

We’d like to hear your ideas as part of FTA’s national conversation about best practices to help transit agencies across America renew ridership. Contact us at transitsopen@dot.gov.