The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announces that visitors of the New York Transit Museum can ride vintage trains at Brighton Beach Station. Also, the PayByPhone app comes to TransLink Park and Ride lots; the TECO Line Streetcar celebrates one million rides; and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) launches Transit Ambassador Program.
On Saturday, Sept. 17, and Sunday, Sept.18, visitors can “ride the rails in historic style” at the New York Transit Museum’s Parade of Trains, the MTA announced in a release. Visitors can hop on and off four different historic trains from the museum’s vintage fleet, representing more than a century of New York City transportation history. According to the release, shuttle rides in Parade of Trains, which is sponsored by Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc., are free with subway entrance and will run continuously to and from the Brighton Beach station B/Q express platforms from 11a.m. to 4 p.m.
Parade of Trains “offers a chance for everyone to experience New York City transportation history firsthand,” the agency said. The Museum’s vintage cars reflect a time before automated voice announcements, air conditioning or bright fluorescent lighting. Guests can sit on the seats, hold onto the straps and handrails, read the vintage advertisements, and travel through time to the early days of New York’s public transportation system.
“The New York Transit Museum is delighted to announce the return of the Parade of Trains,” the MTA said. “We are extremely fortunate to have some of the oldest rolling stock in the U.S. that still rolls and what better way to ensure that remains the case then to bring our beloved vintage fleet to the rails in Brighton Beach. The Parade of Trains, one of our favorite events, is such a special opportunity for people from every generation to travel back in time by traveling on one of the museum trains, and all for a swipe of your MetroCard or an OMNY tap!”
Roundtrip shuttle rides will run continuously from Brighton Beach to Kings Highway and back. Each roundtrip ride will be approximately 20 minutes. Brighton Beach will serve as the sole terminus for all shuttle rides. Passengers will only be able to get on and off the trains at the Brighton Beach Station. Riders can expect a wait time of no more than 15 minutes for the next shuttle ride.
The PayByPhone app, TransLink says, will provide easier and improved pay parking services, along with more features, such as:
- 24/7 customer support.
- Mobile and web payment available in multiple languages.
- Access through the app, website, phone, Amazon Echo Auto, and Siri shortcuts.
- Consecutive, multi-day parking.
- A guest user feature for users to park without registering for an account.
PayByPhone, which was founded in Vancouver and has more than 55 million users worldwide and is available in more than 1,300 cities in 14 countries, is now available at the following TransLink Park and Ride locations:
- Carvolth Exchange
- Coquitlam Central
- Maple Meadows
- Pitt Meadows
- Port Coquitlam
- Moody Centre
- Scott Road
- South Surrey
Pay parking users at the nine TransLink locations will still have access to the existing TransLink Park&Go app until Oct. 6.
Parking at the 11 other non-TransLink Park and Ride facilities available to TransLink customers will remain unchanged. Details and a full list of all Park and Ride locations can be found at translink.ca/parkandride.
The PayByPhone app is available to download from the Apple Store and Google Play, or by visiting paybyphone.com.
TECO Line Streetcar
Tampa, Fla.-based TECO Line Streetcar celebrated one million riders in Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) on Sept. 6 by surprising rider Arpan with a prize pack featuring a $100 gift card donated by the Columbia Restaurant.
According to the TECO Line Streetcar, Arpan rides the streetcar five days a week to medical school and was on his way to USF Health Morsani College of Medicine when staff surprised him as the millionth rider.
“I appreciate it. I take it (the Streetcar) every day to med school and it’s very useful,” said Arpan.
According to the system, the TECO Line Streetcar has seen “quite a resurgence” in FY22, breaking the previous annual ridership record of 850,788 trips in FY19 and setting all-time monthly ridership records.
“We are elated to celebrate a milestone of million rides this year,” said Michael English, President, Tampa Historic Streetcar. “It is quite an achievement to set an all-time ridership record just out of a pandemic which at one point saw the Streetcar only operating essential service.”
The TECO Line Streetcar will be celebrating 20 years of service in October 2022.
Click to here to watch Arpan receive his prize package for being the Streetcar’s one millionth rider.
The GCRTA announced on Sept. 6 the launching of its new Transit Ambassador Program, a “progressive policing and community engagement initiative that reduces the law enforcement’s footprint on GCRTA transit systems by integrating unarmed professionals to handle non-criminal issues.”
“Our new Ambassador Program is a highly visible, uniformed civilian force created with the goal of preventing violence and disruptive behavior, providing assistance during medical emergencies, and maintaining a vigilant watch over rail stations, transit centers and bus lines,” said GCRTA Chief of Police Deirdre Jones. “Our ambassador team includes Crisis Intervention Specialists who are trained and have expertise in using conflict resolution skills to help people experiencing mental health crises.”
Both Transit Ambassadors and Crisis Intervention Specialists, licensed social workers who are embedded with Transit Police Officers, GCRTA says, will work in collaboration with the Authority’s Transit Police and have their own specific responsibilities.
Transit Ambassadors responsibilities:
- Provide general information and assistance to riders and the public.
- Assist riders needing help with navigating GCRTA’s transit system.
- Assist riders in understanding and complying with fare policies.
- Request Transit Police assistance as needed.
- Help maintain a safe and clean environment.
Crisis Intervention Specialists responsibilities:
- Perform mental health, crisis, and substance abuse outreach.
- Defuse immediate crises and serve as a gateway to available resources.
- Establish relationships with social service agencies.
“On behalf of the GCRTA Board of Trustees, I am honored to welcome the Transit Ambassador Program to our system,” said GCRTA Board President Rev. Charles P. Lucas, Pastor Emeritus, St. James AME Church. “We look forward to a new approach for handling rider satisfaction and enjoyment.”
According to GCRTA, Transit Ambassadors and Crisis Intervention Specialists have received 40 hours of Crisis Intervention Team training along with training on de-escalation, defensive tactics, First Aid/CPR/Narcan, human trafficking awareness and customer service.
One to two teams per shift will initially provide coverage on GCRTA’s HealthLine and at RTA rail stations before expanding out to other routes and locations.
“Crime prevention is an ongoing significant challenge for all major transit systems. However, we can and will continue to expand our safety measures with new programs, personnel and technology to enhance safety for our riders, employees and the public,” said GCRTA General Manager and CEO India L. Birdsong Terry. “To us, safety remains the baseline of all services we provide. And we will never let down our guard. That’s our pledge to you.”