Author: maestro

Families Ride Free Dec. 23 – Jan 2

The 5th Annual Winter Fling/Families Ride Free campaign is back by popular demand! Families can ride all fixed routes free of charge from December 23, 2017, through January 2, 2018. Topeka Metro partners with businesses throughout the city of Topeka to provide either free or discounted entertainment and food for families over the holiday break. Families of at least one adult and one child can board the bus for free and obtain the coupons for family-friendly things to do in Topeka.

The 2017 Winter Fling business participants are as follows:

  • CiCi’s Pizza
  • The Kansas Buffet Company
  • Gage Bowl
  • Great Overland Station
  • Holley Museum of Military History
  • Kansas Children’s Discovery Center
  • Kansas Museum of History
  • Potwin Pottery
  • Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library
  • Topeka Zoo

Topeka Metro offers free ride day December 1st

TOPEKA, KANSAS (November 27, 2017) — Topeka Metro is offering a free ride day on all fixed routes on Friday, December 1st, in recognition of the 62nd anniversary of Rosa Parks’ action on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the “colored” section of a segregated city bus to a white passenger. Her act of civil disobedience, along with the ensuing Montgomery Bus Boycott, became part of the national Civil Rights Movement, which brought about sweeping change for African-Americans.

“Transit played a critical role in the Civil Rights Movement. It is important to continue to share Rosa Parks’ story and Topeka Metro is proud to recognize her efforts for the benefit of all people,” said Susan Duffy, General Manager of Topeka Metro. This is the third year of the Remember Rosa free ride campaign.

Combatting human trafficking in Kansas

TOPEKA – (November 16, 2017) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and the Kansas Public Transit Association have formed a new partnership to raise awareness and work to combat human trafficking in Kansas.

Schmidt yesterday was presented with a proclamation adopted by members of the Kansas Public Transit Association (KPTA) at their annual meeting in August urging all Kansas transits to become educated about human trafficking and slavery. The board members presented the resolution to Schmidt at the Capitol building.

“I commend the KPTA for making this issue a priority,” Schmidt said. “By combining forces with public transit agencies, we hope to raise awareness of human trafficking that occurs along our Kansas roads and highways. The public can also assist by reporting suspicious activity to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s hotline at 888-3737-888.”

As part of the new partnership, the attorney general’s office will train public transit operators and staff across the state on the signs of human trafficking and how to report it. The Topeka Metro will be the first transit authority trained next month.

“The KPTA has a role in identifying and preventing the continued trafficking of persons in Kansas. Increased awareness and education with our 90 member agencies across Kansas will help combat this form of slavery. We look forward to the education and training the attorney general’s office will be providing this next year,” said Susan Duffy, KPTA Board Chairman.

The KPTA was founded in 1981 by individuals and Kansas transit systems interested in promoting public transportation in Kansas. The KPTA has grown from 10 original members to 90 member agencies today. The mission of the KPTA is to promote public transportation in Kansas, promote the general welfare of its members, foster sound management of public transportation and encourage the exchange of ideas.

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world. Signs of possible human trafficking can be found on the attorney general’s website at http://1.usa.gov/1VU0oNY.

Topeka Metro hosts BYD electric bus company 11-16-17

TOPEKA, Kansas (November 13, 2017) — BYD, Inc., electric bus manufacturer, is showcasing one of their electric buses at Topeka Metro on Thursday, November 16th.  The bus will run on Route #21 at 6:45 a.m. & 7:45 a.m. Following this, the bus will be staged at Quincy Street Station from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Topeka Metro invites passengers and the community to ride the K9s battery-operated bus. Topeka Metro currently has 26 clean diesel buses and the electric vehicles are being considered as an addition to Topeka Metro’s fleet.

This is the second vendor for electric buses that we have invited to Topeka for demonstration purposes,” said Susan Duffy, Topeka Metro General Manager.  “It is our responsibility (Topeka Metro) to vet the technology and find the best fit for our community, geography, routes and weather,” said Duffy.

BYD Company Ltd is the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer in both consumer electric and commercial/industrial vehicles. BYD states they have the largest selection of zero-emission battery electric buses. Since 2011, their U.S. operation has been based in Los Angeles, California.

Topeka Metro looking to “electrify” Topeka

TOPEKA, Kansas, (October 20, 2017) — Proterra, electric bus manufacturer, is bringing the future of transportation to Topeka Metro, on Tuesday, October 24th.  The bus will run on Route #21 from 6:45 a.m. & 7:45 a.m. Following this, the bus will be staged at Quincy Street Station from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Topeka Metro invites the community to ride the battery electric Proterra Catalyst bus. Topeka Metro currently has 26 clean diesel buses and the electric vehicles are being considered as an addition to Topeka Metro’s fleet.

“The transit industry is at a very exciting place with new technologies benefitting our passengers and community,” said Susan Duffy, Topeka Metro General Manager.  “We have invited Proterra to showcase their product on the streets of Topeka.  Electric buses reduce our carbon footprint and the fuel they run on would be clean, green energy.  Because these buses run off a charged battery and not an engine, they are quiet, almost stealth,” said Duffy.

Proterra Catalyst battery-electric vehicles have the greatest range of any zero-emission, battery-electric bus in its class, and have provided over 2.5 million miles of service in the U.S.

Westar Energy donates electric vehicles to Topeka Metro

TOPEKA, KANSAS (September 29, 2017) — Westar Energy and Topeka Metro are excited to announce the unveiling and transfer of two electric vehicles to Topeka Metro. The event will occur on Wednesday, October 4th at 10:00 a.m. at Quincy Street Station parking lot. Speakers include Elsie Eisenbarth, Westar Energy; Susan Duffy, Topeka Metro; and Topeka Mayor Larry Wolgast.

Topeka Metro submitted a grant request to the Westar Energy Foundation to obtain the electric vehicles to add to Metro’s non-revenue fleet. Westar approved the grant in August 2017, and is donating two, 2011 Nissan Leafs to the city transit. The electric cars will benefit Topeka Metro’s staff and operators for business use within the city.

“Topeka Metro is a valued community partner. Fully electric vehicles like the Leaf are an excellent fit for driving city streets throughout the day,” said Elsie Eisenbarth, vice president, operations support. “Driving electric vehicles reduces emissions and, to build on that, these cars will be operated with 100% renewable energy.”

“Topeka Metro is grateful for the generous donation from Westar Energy,” said Susan Duffy, Topeka Metro General Manager. “The donation will assist greatly with our non-passenger needs around town.”

The public is welcome to attend. If the media would like to arrange an interview with Topeka Metro General Manager Susan Duffy, please contact Keri Renner at (785) 730-8616 or via email at krenner@topekametro.org.  If you would like to arrange an interview with Westar Energy, please contact Gina Penzig at (785) 575-8089 or via email at gpenzig@westarenergy.com.

WHO:              Westar Energy and Topeka Metro

WHAT:            Unveiling of transfer of newly designed electric vehicles to Topeka Metro

WHEN:            Wednesday, October 4, 2017 – 10 a.m.

Vets Ride Free During November on Topeka Metro

During the month of November, active duty military personnel and veterans can ride the Topeka Metro fixed route service for free by showing the bus operator their veteran ID when boarding the bus. Valid identification includes:

  • Military ID
  • Driver’s License with “VETERAN” or “MILITARY” stamp on it
  • Form DD-214
  • Veteran’s Identification Card (VIC)

Service is available to all branches of the U.S. Military:  Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy. All of Topeka Metro fixed route buses are A.D.A. accessible.

“At Topeka Metro, we have high regard for our veterans and we thank them for their service,” said Susan Duffy, Topeka Metro General Manager. “For that reason, we want to honor them all month, not just one day, and hope they hop on board and enjoy the ride.”

Total Eclipse Watch Party 8/21/17

Join us for a Total Solar Eclipse Watch Party at Topeka Metro on Monday, August 21st, 2017!  We will have an area set up on the west side of Quincy Street Station for our passengers to view the solar eclipse!

Topeka Metro has partnered with The Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library for this event.  Viewing glasses are provided by Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library through a StarNet grant.  A valid bus pass is required to obtain a pair of eclipse glasses.  We will hand out viewing glasses to passengers right before the eclipse, and ask that people share if possible in order to give everyone an opportunity to view this very special event. We will have a very limited supply, so it will be one per person and first come, first served. If you are a family, one pair of glasses will be distributed per family.  Topeka Metro is NOT a distribution location for glasses–they are intended for our passengers only for the watch party event.

This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity for some! The path of totality begins on the west coast around mid-morning and leaves the east coast more than three hours later. Although Topeka is slightly off the path, it is very close. Topeka will only be 99% totality, so it is dangerous to view the eclipse without approved eclipse eyewear. We strongly encourage passengers to make sure they do not look directly at the eclipse without proper protection that day.

EYE HEALTH NOTE:  It is important to note that the only time that the sun can be viewed safely with the naked eye is during a total eclipse, when the moon completely covers the disk of the sun. It is never safe to look at a partial or annular eclipse, or the partial phases of a total solar eclipse, without the proper equipment and techniques. Even when 99% of the sun’s surface is obscured during the partial phases of a solar eclipse, the remaining crescent sun is still intense enough to cause a retinal burn, even though illumination levels are comparable to twilight. Failure to use proper observing methods may result in permanent eye damage or severe visual loss.

We hope to see our passengers at the bus station on August 21st  for the Topeka Metro Solar Eclipse Watch Party!

Public Art Day at Quincy – Circle of Life Day 8/1

On Tuesday, August 1st, Topeka Metro will have a special celebration for the 5th Anniversary of the Kids Ride Free promotion that takes place annually May 15th to August 15th.  Kids Ride Free offers youth ages 18 and under bus transportation on all fixed routes at no cost every summer to get where they need to go in the city.  Staff will be at Quincy Street Station handing out goodies and educating parents and youth about the benefits of riding the bus.

Susan Duffy, Topeka Metro General Manager said, “We invite kids and families to join us at the station for some fun and prizes.  We know our program ‘Kids Ride Free All Summer’ works.  Approximately 38,000 rides have been taken each summer by our youth as they travel safely and reliably to summer school, grandma’s house, work, the mall and the pool.”

Also on Tuesday, August 1st, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., award-winning local artist Kristine A. Luber (also known as Kris Luber, Topeka Metro’s own Mobility and Outreach Specialist), will be on hand in the lobby of Quincy Street Station to celebrate art with a “Circle of Life” theme, creating art with the help of our passengers that will bedeck baskets on Topeka Metro Bikes.

A member of the Topeka Art Guild, Kris often exhibits her fabric art at galleries in Topeka, Lawrence and Kansas City. She has taught art classes at the NOTO Community Art Center and helped create the RagaZagar mosaic murals. At Topeka Metro, she teaches people how to ride the bus.

The art project is partially funded through a TopArts Grant for public art from the City of Topeka and ArtsConnect.

WHEN:    Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE:  Topeka Metropolitan Transit Authority Quincy Street Station

WHAT:      Kids Ride Free 5th Anniversary/Circle of Life Art Event

Public meeting dates for fall/winter 2017-18 updates

PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE

Topeka Metro will host public meetings to present proposed changes for the Fall/Winter 2017-18 and other service updates. Members of the public are encouraged to attend to offer input on Metro services. Comments will also be accepted through Friday, July 21, 2017, in person at the Quincy Street Station (820 SE Quincy St.), via telephone at 785-783-7000, via fax at 785-354-8476, via website at www.topekametro.org, and via regular mail.

The meeting date and times are as follows:

FIRST MEETING

When: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 — 4 pm to 6 pm

Where: Topeka Metro’s Quincy Street Station Lobby, 820 SE Quincy St., Topeka

SECOND MEETING

When: Wednesday, July 19, 2017 — 7 am to 9 am

Where: Topeka Metro’s Quincy Street Station Lobby, 820 SE Quincy St., Topeka