Portsmouth’s downtown parking shuttle , which has operated Friday thru Sunday since May, has been enough of success so that the city is expanding its hours of operation.
Beginning Aug. 7, the shuttle will operate on Thursdays, from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. It will also starting operation earlier on Fridays, at noon on Friday instead of 4 p.m. The shuttle picks up passengers every 10 minutes at the Connect Community Church off Market Street near Exit 7 on I-95 and drops them off the the parking garage on Hanover Street.
According to a press release, during the 13 weeks of operation, the shuttle’s total daily ridership has increased from an average of 45 riders per day to just over 190 riders per day. The city attributes the increase to growing awareness of the shuttle service as well as increased demand with the arrival of the peak summer tourism season.
Like many younger people, Sean Moundas doesn’t have a car. He walks, bikes and takes public transportation, including to his job in Durham. It’s possible to get around the Seacoast that way, but not easy.
So, to publicize and promote transportation options for car-less (or car-free) people like himself, Sean has started a website: Car-Free Portsmouth. The site features transportation alternatives, news and resources.
If that interests you, Sean (who led the Portsmouth library’s own discussion of Walkable City) is looking for people who to contribute or help out with the site. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The jury may be out on the overall effectiveness of Portsmouth’s free parking shuttle, but one thing’s for sure: It can be successful for special events like Market Square Day.
On Saturday, June 14 the CCC parking lot on Market Street was full, and additional cars were parked along access roads. The shuttle stops at the lot every 10 minutes, but some people were not waiting, deciding instead to walk the half mile to downtown.
A hi-tech bus company seeking to capitalize on the demand for new and better options in transit has debuted in Boston.
Bridj will use ‘big data’ to dynamically determine routes for its chartered, upscale buses, which will cost significantly more than city buses fares or the subway, but will take riders directly where they want to go.
“Users in Brookline can take a Bridj that goes to Downtown, Kendall, Harvard, or Back Bay. On average, this saves our users about an hour each day compared with public transit,” according to the company’s website.
Online carpool or vanpool matching service for employees, including tracking of commuter trips and internal employer commuter contests
On-site promotional events and materials about carpooling/vanpooling, bicycling/walking, transit, and telecommuting
Surveying and analyzing employee transportation patterns and needs
commuteSMARTclub – registered commuters are eligible for the Emergency Ride Home program (up to 6 free rides home if an emergency occurs during work or carpool driver has emergency) and drawings for prizes.
Quarterly e-newsletter and email blasts
Regional commuter events and contests (e.g. “Bike to Work Week”, “Try Transit Week”, “Dump the Pump Day”)
Workshops (e.g. bike safety, bike maintenance)
Advocating on regional transportation issues
Roundtables on commuting options and topics of common concern to members
Some of the initial 20+ participating employers include Lonza, the City of Portsmouth, Redhook Brewery, the Courtyard by Marriott-Portsmouth, and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Thursday, Apr. 24 will be the official launch of CommuteSMART Seacoast, which is a new program for sustainable commuting in the Seacoast. The regional Transportation Management Association (TMA) will hold a brief press conference and reception at Redhook Brewery from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The mission of CommuteSMART Seacoast is to promote sustainable commuting choices (ridesharing, public transit, walk/bike, telecommuting) to support a vibrant greater Seacoast. For more information, contact Anne Rugg, Manager of CommuteSMART Seacoast at 743-5777 ext.109 or arugg@commuteSMARTseacoast.org. — City of Portsmouth