Sunday, July 20, 2014

American Planning Association-Virginia Conference

Off to attend (participate!) in the APA-VA Conference. Looking forward to new info and networking opportunities. Jim Bacon is the keynote speaker. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The importance of Networking

I met an undergrad planning student downtown yesterday, gave him my biz card and encouraged him to send me an email to stay in touch. Very courteous and pretty friendly (nervous?) He is finishing up an internship and I might be able to offer him a position or a project(s) too. Hope he follows up. Do they train followup and networking skills these days to students in high school and college? I claim I have received much all of my jobs and grants as a result of networking, and by reaching out and talking. Interns at BT.

Monday, April 28, 2014

At least 3 types of BT partners (probably more)

After 23 years of service without exterior advertising on its buses, BT obtained Town Council approval to begin advertising both inside and outside the buses in 2006. The program soon was generating an average net income of $62,600 per year. During the last three years, BT expanded its advertising program using direct mail with the tagline “There’s A Better Way To Reach People,” to target regional businesses. The results were immediate: The advertising program now generates an average of $123,000 annually, a five-fold increase in income generation since the program began. In May BT will start discussions with potential partners. There are three types of partners being discussed currently:

1. Financial Partners: Private organizations willing to sponsor and financially support BT service. These groups would provide funding to either directly support BT service, or more likely sponsor amenity improvements like stops and benches. Examples could include apartment complexes, large employers, or major retailers that would benefit from improved transit service. Possible sponsorship to explore here, include:
·         Providing financial support for improved service
·         Sponsoring amenities like bus stops
·         Participating in a bulk pass program

2. Public Partners: While local government also contributes financially to BT, there are potential opportunities for additional collaboration. BT can be consulted during the site planning approval process for new construction. Developers may be requires to take into account transit operational needs, or even provide financial support / transit amenities as a means to offset parking requirements.

3. Non-Financial Partners: This is probably the loosest defined group but includes organizations or businesses that can be brought on board to promote BT service. I see it as community groups, businesses, or other stakeholders that might be interested in this plan and would like to get involved. These groups could include small businesses, churches, community organizations, and local non-profits. A focus group around these kinds of partners would be looking at:
·         How their constituents or customers use transit
·         Whether they would be interested in helping promote BT’s planning and expansion efforts.
·         What could BT do to improve transit services.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Blacksburg Transit: Regional Cooperation to Bridge the Mobility Gap

Recently, the American Planning Association, Virginia Chapter published "The Greater Commonwealth: Stories About Planning and Places in Virginia." Their website does not have the document but I have a couple images showing the Blacksburg Transit story or see a sample PDF of the BT story.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Transit survey - media and press

WSLS coverage, Feb 5, 2014

We received a good amount of media on the Blacksburg Transit survey. Most recently, WSLS's Duke Carter interviewed me on February 5, 2014. Coverage included:

Video at WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va or 

WSET news coverage (video) online at - 2/4/2014 5:15:03 AM: "...officials are looking for feedback about the town's transportation needs. and if you help out - you could win a prize. here's how it works. Blacksburg transit created a short survey for residents and students ... so they can improve the bus service there... and on virginia tech's campus. you have until february 12th to take it. and as a thank you, you get entered into a raffle to win one of three 25- dollar gift cards. we have the link to the survey at"