Ijaw Dictionary Online

How Automobiles Work

Hi, Alex here. Bus ridership in Kingston,
Ontario, jumped by more than 70% between 2012 and 2017. That’s a big
increase! And the story about how it all happened is pretty great. As we are trying to include more inspiring stories from the field in our sustainability videos,
today I’m excited to bring my friend Dan Hendry along for the ride. He was part of this success story… That’s me, Dan Hendry, well it’s a drawing of me. I’m from Kingston and I’m here to tell you the story about how we are changing our
public transit culture. In 2012, Kingston city council recognized the benefits of youth using public transportation and decided to allow ninth
graders free access to Kingston transit. This was the beginning of a great
initiative. There was just one little problem: most high school students didn’t know how to board a bus, let alone what route
to take. Students needed an introduction to this brand new world. This was the start
of Kingston transit and Limestone District School Board’s transit
orientation project. Now every September, we take a Kingston Transit bus to each high school and teach every grade 9 student how to use public transportation
and we give them a bus pass that day. So what is this teaching students? A lot! I always start off with the students in front of the bus. I show them how to use
the bike rack and tell them the true story of when I first used it. I had
never taken my bike on the bus and I actually had a popped tire. Of course, I
had my bus pass. The bus pulled up and I proceeded to get in front of the bus. I
looked at the bike rack wondering how to do it with 40 people looking at me, cars going by, the transit operator unable to get off and assist, I was sweating, my
helmet was flopping around, it was intimidating even as a 30 year old. I now know it’s a simple thing to do, but without a safe and no stress opportunity to learn, many new riders just won’t try. Then we get on the bus, we meet the
driver and learn about bus etiquette, the routes, and describe the newfound freedom this will offer them. I also tell them about the social, economic, health and environmental benefits. With a lot more confidence and a pass in
their hand, students feel more comfortable on the bus and they’re more
apt to use it, now and in the future. After we started with grade nines in the
first year, another grade was added to the program every year. Today, grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 ride for free in the city of Kingston. In our pilot year, grade 9
students took about 28,000 rides on public transit. In 2016, Kingston high school students made nearly 600,000 trips! High school students alone now represent about 10% of our bus ridership. A university student completed her master’s thesis on the program and found that grade 12
students, on average, used the public transit pass three times more frequently than grade nine students. The research study concluded that the transit pass is an important stimulant for travel independence for high school students and that the program could be applied to other mid-sized North American
municipalities. The Kingston high school transit pass program has proven to be an
effective behavioral change tool, it fosters the growth of future paying
riders, it’s helped increase our total ridership by 73%, it’s showing students how sustainability is everyone’s responsibility and it saved the school
boards, schools and parents a lot of money! I will be back with more sustainability
tools in video. If you found this useful please subscribe. Sustainability Illustrated is a non-profit project. You can support it by making a donation on our Patreon page and by sharing it with your friends and colleagues. And as usual,
thank you for watching!

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