Corvallis Transit well looked after by Connexionz

It was great to meet Tim Bates and Lisa Scherf at the City of Corvallis Transit and to hear from them how Connexionz has provided them with a terrific experience over many years. All the credit has to go to the rest of the Connexionz team. They’ve done a wonderful job over the last two and a half years despite COVID-19. Thanks to Tim for also letting us hijack his boardroom for a Teams meeting! #its #connexionz #its #dispatch #transit #corvallis

The Case for Free Public Transit

It’s a trend that Connexionz US Sales Director, Brain Garrett, supports.

“In my view there are three quite compelling arguments in favour of fare-free public transit,” he says.

“It’s better for your pocket, it’s better for the environment and it’s much better when it comes to the question equity – can everyone who needs to ride public transit – and most are low-income earners – afford to do so?

“We certainly hope so because it’s part of our role at Connexionz to develop systems and technologies that make transit as accessible and convenient as possible, especially for those who may be disadvantaged or whose transport options are limited.

“Yes, we need to get people out of their cars for environmental reasons, but we also need to make other, cleaner transport options readily available, and importantly, affordable.”

Added to the advantages of fare-free travel, he says, are the benefits to transit agencies which have to fork out for hugely expensive fare collection systems and technologies and then spend even more time and money collecting fares that go nowhere near offsetting their operating costs – in fact, the opposite is true.

Brian says fare box recovery usually only amounts to between 25 and 35 per cent of an agency’s operating expenses, and many probably incur more costs collecting fares than they would if they opted for a fare-free model.

“You have to question the wisdom of that.”

Brian points to what General Manager of Valley Transit (a Connexionz customer) Angie Peters says about her fare structure.

She says Valley Transit’s costs per passenger on its average five-mile loop fixed route are around $17.00 now.  The fare per passenger is .50c. [refer to related article]

In support of the fare-free model, data shows that as more Americans migrate to larger cities, public transportation use is up. Since 1997, public transportation ridership has increased by 21 per cent.

The New York Times estimates that 100 cities around the world offer free public transit, with many of them in Europe.  But recently, cities across the United States have begun to consider it as well.

Olympia, Wash., implemented a fare-free trial after studying results of a similar project run by Connexionz customer Corvallis, Ore.  That approach generated a two thirds increase in ridership over time.

And Olympia saw similar results.  After just one month of fare-free travel that city saw a 20 per cent increase on ridership compared to the previous year, a number equivalent to over 60,000 more riders.

Even a long time Connexionz technology customer, Corvallis Transit, was the largest transit agency in the Pacific Northwest to eliminate fare collection systemwide when it made the change in 2011. In its first year of fareless operation, Corvallis bus system ridership increased nearly 38 per cent, according to the city government.

 


Related Article

Angie Peters: Passionate about Public Transit as a Community Service

DASH will become the first transit agency in the D.C. area to end fares

 

 

Say hi to Connexionz staffer, Danielle

Connexion has a head office in Santa Clarita (Cal.) where its operations and delivery teams are based, and a sales and support team based in Denver (Col.).  But we also have a development team based in Christchurch, on New Zealand’s South Island.

New Zealanders are often called Kiwis (we are named after a flightless bird) and in this issue we introduce you to one of our Kiwi team, Danielle Whanau, who works as a Tests and Q&A Analyst.

Tell us about yourself, Danielle

My name is Danielle Whanau.  I was born in Christchurch where we had that massive earthquake about a decade ago and I’ve been raised in a few different places around New Zealand.  Dad was in the NZ Army.

For those of you with a geography interest, NZ also has a North Island, a Stewart Island (right at the bottom of the South Island) and the Chatham Islands (about 800km or 500 miles) off the South Island’s east coast.  NZ is in that part of the world colloquially called ‘Down Under’, and it’s where the Lord of the Rings films were made.

Growing up I played any sport I could – rugby (our national sport), softball, squash, athletics, swimming and touch rugby.  But I was most successful at basketball, representing the province of Canterbury and the NZ Koru team.

Nowadays I prefer to do cost-free activities like running, biking, and hiking around our beautiful scenic hills. I have a secret passion for organising “things”, be it kitchens, bedrooms, garages – I love taking a mess and making it look tidy.

What do you do in your spare time?

As you can tell, I enjoy being active, seeing and experiencing new places, catching up with friends at a nice cafe or eatery and travelling.  But my favourite thing to do is spend time with my family. We often have family dinners that are filled with good food, good banter, and plenty of laughs (mostly at my expense as I can be a bit of a clown).  I guess you could say I enjoy making people laugh. 

What do you like about working for Connexionz?

I like that I am learning a lot about a bunch of new things. I’m a big believer in surrounding myself with bright minds so I can learn new soft and technical skills while hopefully also adding my uniqueness to the company.

Do you have a personal philosophy?

I think my biggest personal philosophy is treating people the way I’d want to be treated and meeting them where they’re at. I try to foster this culture wherever I go as I believe you get the best out of people when they feel cared about and respected.

Thanks, Danielle.  We’ll feature another of our Connexionz team in our next issue.

 


Related Articles:

New Employee Highlight: Paul Stevens

Connexionz transit technology sees fast growth in sales and operations

August 20th, 2021

With increasing sales, smarter transit solutions provider, Connexionz (https://connexionz.com) has opened a new sales and marketing office in the heart of tech friendly Denver, Colorado. The 2nd US office for Connexionz will host a growing team of dedicated business development staff.

Connexionz US Sales Director, Brian Garrett, says the business growth has been driven by numerous competitive wins in recent months, plus existing clients purchasing additional product options/features, and recommitments from clients for service and maintenance on current bus technology systems.

“It’s been a very busy and productive 2021 for us so far, with new systems being installed in California, Wisconsin, Washington, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oregon, and Puerto Rico,” Garrett says.

The company has increased sales staff threefold while also expanding its project management, support, and vehicle technician teams.

He says among the company’s recent wins in the deployment of tracking and dispatch system for a 35-vehicle transit agency in the City of Racine, Wisconsin. “Racine is an exciting win for us, partly because the competition was so robust, but we also knew that our established CAD/AVL and tracking technology and experience integrating with Automatic Passenger Counting (APC) systems would make a real difference for both Racine’s transit team and the passengers they serve, “Garrett says.

Also new to the Connexionz portfolio is a project designed to enable Vallejo (CA) based transit agency, SolTrans, to undertake ‘platform loading’, a process that requires a highly accurate solution.  SolTrans, an agency with nearly 60 fleet vehicles completes over 1.4 million passenger trips per year.

The company selected Connexionz from among seven competitors, saying they know of only one other company providing anything like the Connexionz platform loading system.  “We’ve done this specific kind of dynamic transit center work before so were well placed to develop and implement the kind of specific innovative solutions SolTrans required,” Garrett says.

Connexionz continues to increase bandwidth while bidding on important integrated transportation technology projects that improve lives for millions of public transit riders across the globe.

Christchurch company Connexionz experiences rapid growth with launch of numerous transportation technology projects

Connexionz has two-decades of history deploying Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) into public transport fleets across the world. With international headquarters in Christchurch, New Zealand and a growing U.S. regional office in Valencia California; Connexionz is rapidly expanding their team and winning new contracts.

Connexionz recent achievements include the deployment of three Intelligent Transport Systems within the past 12 months,

  • A deviated fixed route solution for San Joaquin Regional Transit District which enables operators to make deviated pickups via direction from a mobile data terminal on their popular “Hopper” fixed route service
  • Increased functionality of a real time tracking system for the NYC Ferry Service which provides accurate real time arrival predictions for over 4.6 million passengers per year; and
  • The custom development of a system for iTransitNW, a regional project covering three states in North America which integrates data from 7 transit agencies, a solution which is already expanding

Heading the important expansion of Connexionz U.S. office in California is Tracy O’Garro, newly-appointed Customer Experience Manager and a member of the Connexionz international senior management team.

Tracy brings more than 20 years of global experience providing service management and training. Tracy now oversees all post-sales customer contact for US customers, ensuring the United States get a heightened level of service and enjoy local support in real time.

Meanwhile, Connexionz’ New Zealand agencies will now have the Christchurch customer service and operations teams dedicated to their needs.

Connexionz is well-placed to support a fast-growing number of US and international transit authorities that are listening to their passengers, meeting market demand, and offering competitive services. With high demand for reliable and trusted systems, Connexionz’ ITS installations in the US continue to see growth.  In addition to the focused US growth, the Christchurch New Zealand headquarters has also seen an increase of staff with 6 developers and engineers joining the staff over the last two months.

The rapid growth of Connexionz in the public transportation space makes it quite evident that innovative services and software applications continue to play a crucial part in worldwide mobility.