Rural Transit Day was first celebrated on the 16th of July, 2019. It’s a special holiday that celebrates what different agencies are doing to improve the availability and safety of transportation everywhere. You can do your part in achieving this goal by improving your own fleet management by investing in high-quality transit sign solutions.
During this holiday, you can show your commitment to rural transit and pledge to:
- Provide passengers with courteous, respectful, and helpful customer services
- Understand that tribal and rural passengers have unique needs, so you should plan appropriate services to meet those needs.
- Involve community stakeholders, elected officials, and passengers in service planning.
- Provide equal services to every passenger, no matter the gender, age, income, abilities, or background.
- Coordinate with community organizations to make sure that transportation is available to as many destinations as possible.
- Make sure that facilities and vehicles are comfortable, clean, safe, and well-maintained.
- Invest in education and training to keep staff skilled, current, and knowledgeable.
- Have plans for potential disasters and emergencies, and communicate them to stakeholders.
- Invest in and remain up-to-date with new technologies and opportunities for funding to keep improving services.
Crises common in rural areas
Public transportation in rural communities tends to be inefficient. Many riders across the country have no alternatives to rural public transit. They rely on public transportation to get around. In some communities, the nearest supermarket or hospital is about an hour’s drive away, and they can be very hard to access for those who have no personal vehicles and have to rely on rural public transportation.
During this time of a pandemic, many people use public transportation services to get to a vaccination appointment or find medical treatment. This means that transit agencies must take extra measures to protect drivers and riders to avoid the spread of disease.
The main challenges in rural transit are funding, training, safety, service expansion, and ridership. Beyond that, there are also issues with staffing, inability to buy new vehicles, driver retention, scheduling and dispatching management, and customer service. There are also many barriers to accessing technologies such as modern transportation signs.
Improving driver and passenger safety with better fleet management
The safety of drivers and passengers is of utmost importance in rural transport. With modern solutions, it may be easier to deliver up-to-date information to the driver and commuters. An advanced transit sign is ADA compliant and ideal for all types of fleets. Highly adaptable, it can be fully integrated into next stop, route, and destination announcement services.
Overcoming the transit challenges in rural areas
Local communities and transit groups and businesses are making efforts to face the challenges of public transportation in rural areas. Their objectives include developing and maintaining a safe, economically sound, and environmentally sensitive transportation system while promoting public health. They also aim to ensure that personal or public transportation meets employment, personal, cultural, health, economic, and other needs for everyone, especially at-risk populations.
Rural transit agencies are focused on customer-centric services, strong leadership, and the ability and willingness to do all they can to provide riders for passengers so everyone can get to their destination. New technologies like advanced transportation sign solutions will play a big role in this endeavor.