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Metro Tests New Fare Boxes on 40 MetroBus Vehicles
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), September 30, 2012 - Metro Transit will begin testing new fare boxes on 40 MetroBus vehicles on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 as part of building a better transit experience for customers. The pilot program will allow Metro to obtain feedback from customers, operators, and other Metro employees so adjustments can be made before fare boxes are installed on the rest of the approximately 400 MetroBus vehicle fleet next year.
The new fare boxes will replace old fare equipment that is becoming expensive and difficult to repair. The new fare boxes will provide more detailed passenger count information facilitating more detailed route planning. The new fare boxes will help reduce fare evasion and assure collection of proper fares and has advanced software that better identifies counterfeit bills and foreign coins. The new system also will allow Metro to add smart card payment technology in the future.
"The display on the fare boxes will indicate how much money has been inserted. It will show any balance due, and will confirm your fare has been paid in full," said Ray Friem, Chief Operating Officer of Transit Services.
The new fare boxes are installed on MetroBus vehicles on the following routes: #16 City Limits, #18/42 Taylor/Sarah, #36 Spanish Lake, #61 Chambers, #97 Delmar, #36X Bissell Hills, #174X Halls Ferry, and the #4 Natural Bridge. Depending on operational needs, the buses with the new fare boxes may also be used on other routes.
For the customer, some of the fare collection process will remain the same. Fare boxes will still require exact change from the customers. The fare boxes will still accept $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills, pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollar coins. Changes customers will see include:
MetroBus customers can email their questions or comments about the new fare boxes to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Customer Service at (314) 982-1406 between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- One person will be able to pay for everyone in their group without paying for each person at a time
- A new customer display screen will provide information on the fare required and the fare paid
- Only one bill or coin can be inserted at a time, so for faster boarding, customers will need to use newer, crisper bills and minimize the use of coins to pay their fare
- Passes can be swiped, in either direction, through the slot at the top of the fare box
Populations Increasing in Many Downtowns, Census Bureau Reports
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), September 30, 2012 - A U.S. Census Bureau report released today shows that in many of the largest cities of the most-populous metro areas, downtown is becoming a place not only to work but also to live.
Between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, metro areas with 5 million or more people experienced double-digit population growth rates within their downtown areas (within a two-mile radius of their largest city's city hall), more than double the rate of these areas overall.
Chicago experienced the largest numeric gain in its downtown area, with a net increase of 48,000 residents over 10 years. New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington also posted large population increases close to city hall. These downtown gains were not universal, however: New Orleans and Baltimore experienced the greatest population declines in their downtown areas (35,000 and slightly more than 10,000, respectively). Two smaller areas in Ohio - Dayton and Toledo - also saw downtown declines of more than 10,000.
These are just some of the findings in the new 2010 Census special report, Patterns of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Population Change: 2000 to 2010 . The report uses 2010 Census results to examine contemporary geographic patterns (as well as changes since the 2000 Census) of population density and distribution by race, Hispanic origin, age and sex for metro and micro areas collectively as well as individually. Metro areas contain at least one urbanized area of 50,000 population or more, while micro areas contain at least one urban cluster of less than 50,000, but at least 10,000.
"By including totals for both 2000 and 2010, this report helps us to understand patterns of change for this past decade," Census Bureau Deputy Director Nancy Potok said. "The report, together with its associated online maps, graphics and statistical tables, provides a detailed view of the nation's centers of population and economic activity."
A common theme for the non-Hispanic white alone population from 2000 to 2010 was population increases in the central areas of many of the largest principal cities, especially those in the largest metro areas.
These demographic patterns were not uniform across all race and ethnic groups; the black alone population increased in most metro areas outside the area's largest city. In Atlanta, for example, this group's share of the population rose by at least 10 percentage points in wide swaths surrounding the city. For Hispanics, growth was greatest in pockets along principal city perimeters and adjacent territory.
- More than one in 10 U.S. residents lived in either the New York or Los Angeles metro area in 2010.
- Although metro areas covered only slightly more than one-quarter of the nation's land area, they were home to eight of every 10 people.
The Hispanic share of the population increased in every U.S. metro area.
While the non-Hispanic white alone, black alone and Asian alone populations grew faster in metro areas than in micro areas, the reverse was true for Hispanics.
- Next to those who were non-Hispanic white alone, Hispanics were the most populous race or ethnic group in most metro and micro areas in the western half of the U.S., with single-race blacks the largest in most areas in the eastern half.
- Metro area populations were younger (a median of 36.6 years) than the population in either micro areas (39.3 years) or territory outside either of these areas (41.9 years).
- Areas with the highest median ages were either in slow-growing regions like western Pennsylvania, which had past outmigration of the young combined with "aging in place," or were faster-growing areas in parts of Florida and Arizona that were traditional retiree migration destinations.
- Areas with the lowest median ages included metro areas and micro areas in Utah, southern Idaho and along the U.S.-Mexican border.
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