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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis December 2, 2011
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Capital Metro Aims to Discourage Smoking at Its Bus Stops

In conjunction with the 36th Great American Smokeout, on Nov. 17 the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro) in Austin, TX, launched its plan to discourage tobacco use at its more than 2,700 bus stops. This effort modifies the Tobacco-Free Facilities policy adopted by Capital Metro in 2010 along with a Tobacco-Free Workplace policy.

The public transit agency already prohibits tobacco use near the passenger boarding areas at transit centers, park-and-rides, and MetroRail stations. The revised policy discourages tobacco use within 15 feet of a bus stop in consideration of other riders and to create a healthier environment for everyone waiting for the bus.

Capital Metro also announced an ambitious new signage project designed to improve the amount and quality of information available at each bus stop. An interactive system that will allow users to find very specific next-bus information at stops, using a phone and the stop’s unique ID number, will replace bus timetable displays at all but the highest-volume bus stops.

The new signage offers four methods to help passengers find service information:

* Text the bus stop ID number to Dadnab™ at (512) 981-6221 and receive a reply text with the next scheduled bus arrival times for buses that serve that stop;

* Scan the square barcode on the sign using a QR reader app (available from an apps marketplace) to see bus times and a route map displayed on the smartphone;

* Open capmetro.org/stopid/ from a smartphone and input their bus stop ID number to pull up a mobile-friendly website with the next bus arrivals; and

* Call the Go Line at (512) 474-1200 to use the automated voice system or talk to a service representative. 

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