Pilot Transit Ridership Project – Call for Participants and Feedback

21 Sep

Mode Shift is launching a pilot program to help encourage people to get on the bus and we’re looking for willing  participants and feedback.

One of the biggest obstacles to convincing people who have never ridden the bus to give transit a try is the hurdle of that first trip. We’d like to make that first bus ride both easy and fun. The concept is to get a group of folks together for an afternoon and ride the bus to some cool destinations. Out first event is Saturday, October 7th starting at 10:30 a.m. meeting at Crossroads Mall and making our way down to the Old Market using Metro Route 2.

We plan on making three stops. Round trip will be four separate bus rides that will cost $5.00 total if you don’t have a student pass or monthly pass. Please RSVP at our Facebook event page.

Itinerary is as follows:

10:30 a.m. – Meet at Czech/Slovak Museum at Cross Roads Mall
11:16 a.m. – First bus ride. Route 2, SE corner of 72nd and Dodge St.
11:30 a.m. – Arrive at 40th and Dodge St. Walk two blocks south to Farnam St. and the Blackstone District
12:24 p.m. – Second bus ride. Route 2, SW corner of 40th and Dodge St.
12:30 p.m. – Arrive at 24th and Douglas St. Walk one block North to Joslyn Museum (free admission — special exhibitions may be extra for non-members. Check website.)
1:30 p.m. – Third bus ride. Route 2, SE corner of 24th and Douglas
1:35 p.m. – Arrive at 13th and Douglas St. Walk two blocks south to Old Market
Return to Crossroads at your leisure, catching Route 2 at 11th and Dodge.

For more information and additional information, download the PDF of our brochure.

A very special thanks to Curtis Bryant, our member who devised and tested this route. Based on feedback, we will make adjustments and schedule more bus-related events in the future.

Five Questions with . . . Madison Haugland

11 Sep

We are pleased to welcome Madison Haugland as out Coffee Chat guest for September.  Join us this Friday, September 15, at 8 a.m. at Spielbound, 3229 Harney St.; you can RSVP at our Facebook page.  Madison is a community advocate for safer walking and biking spaces, strategist of the LWO Commuter Challenge, a League Cycling Instructor and experienced program manager of physical activity promotion in her more than five years at Live Well Omaha. She serves as Board Chair of the Community Bike Project Omaha, a board member of Omaha Bikes and is a mentor at The Bike Union Mentoring Project. We asked her five questions:

1. What is your preferred mode of transportation?

I love to ride my bike, but now that we live in the Joslyn Castle neighborhood I’m a big fan of walking to neighborhood businesses. We can easily walk to dinner, coffee, ice cream, groceries, our gym and entertainment. There’s hardly any preparation needed and I get to really connect with my neighborhood.

2. What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge to multi-modal transportation in Omaha?

I think the greatest challenge to multi-modal transportation in Omaha is lack of knowledge or motivation. If you don’t know the awesome things that are happening (South Omaha Trail connector, ORBT, Heartland B-cycle) you won’t try them. Also, sometimes it’s WAY easier to just hop in a car and drive the 0.75 miles to the store than walk or bike there – I know I’m guilty of it.

3. What, in your opinion, the the greatest multi-modal success in Omaha?

I think the greatest multi-modal success in Omaha is the Bike Omaha Network. It’s far from perfect, but it’s a start. If you’re not familiar, it’s a 20-mile network of bike facilities (bike lanes and shared lane markings) in the core of Omaha. It came about from a public/private partnership and has changed the way the city looks at biking. In the future, there will be wayfinding signage throughout the entire 20-mile network helping folks get from point A to point B safely – which I’m SUPER excited about.

4. How did you come to have an interest in transportation?

I was an Exercise Science major in college and volunteered for the Active Omaha Urban Adventure Race in 2011, met Julie Harris, and learned about the awesome active transportation work they were doing. I thought it was so cool that they were promoting healthy lifestyles through walking, biking, and taking transit – not just promoting the gym for physical activity. I did my college internship with Live Well Omaha and the rest is history! I came into it loving the health benefits of active transportation, but have stayed around for all the other amazing benefits.

5. If you could magically change one thing about the transportation systems in Omaha, without limit to budget or feasibility, what would it be?

Can I change two? I think more protected bike facilities would really increase ridership (and type of bike rider) in Omaha. I would also love if more busses ran more frequently. It’s hard to promote riding the bus when folks have to wait 30 minutes to catch it. Also, GPS on all the busses with real time arrival would be fabulous too. Sorry, that was three.

Announcement: New Board Members for Mode Shift

22 Aug

Joe Hanseling has a bachelors degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska Lincoln and a masters in recreation from the University of Arkansas. As an undergraduate Joe got involved in outdoor recreation education and developed a passion for cycling. Ever since he has been a committed bike commuter and advocate for MORE cycling. Since getting involved with Mode Shift Joe has focused on becoming more familiar with Omaha and the current transportation system. Joe works at the University of Nebraska Omaha and has a focus on increasing cycling options at UNO.

Dawaune Lamont Hayes is a native of Omaha, Nebraska who has graduated from both Central High and Creighton University with a B.A. in Journalism-Public Relations. A natural-born communicator, Hayes is the Communications Manager at The Union for Contemporary Art in North Omaha where he works as an arts advocate, publicist, and community liaison. An avid bicyclist, Dawaune sees multi-modal transportation access as an equalizer for all people and a way to literally and figuratively bring the city of Omaha together. He believes the more connections we create, the stronger we become. Continue reading