What’s happening at other transit agencies?

Bus stop of the future, according to urban designer Marc Aurel.

This weekly post features news from other transit agencies and planners from around the world. Did we miss a good story? Let us know in the comments.

The bus stop of the future concept in Paris

Some bus stops are nothing more than a sign planted in the ground. But that doesn’t mean it has to be that way — or always will be that way. Transit planner and writer Jarrett Walker highlights a rendering of what a full-feature bus stop could look like situated on a Parisian boulevard. Designed by Marc Aurel, the station turns over 800 square feet of sidewalk into a “a multi-purpose public space [where] you can buy a bus ticket, get information about the neighborhood, have a coffee, borrow a book, play music, recharge a phone, buy a meal to take away, rent an electric bike, stay warm while eating a sandwich, or set up a bag on a shelf to do your makeup.” Click through additional renderings.

San Francisco land-use plan calls for new growth near transit

The Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments have approved a road map for how to accommodate the region’s population growth in the coming years, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The key to finding homes for the expected 2.1 million additional residents — all without adding too much traffic and pollution — will be focusing new housing around public transportation. And this will keep the Bay Area in compliance with state law requiring regions to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

Major ambitions for improved transit in the inner suburbs north of Washington D.C.

The D.C. region is well known for its Metro Rail system that criss-crosses the district and reaches out into the suburbs. Montgomery County, just north of D.C., already has a slew of Metro stations geared towards commuters into the city, but what if you want to travel within the county on transit? Those trips could get a lot easier under a new county transit plan in the works. Yonah Freemark provides his trademark in-depth analysis over at the Transport Politic blog.

The headline grabber is that the county’s Transit Task Force is recommending building a $2-billion system of 160 miles of new bus rapid transit (BRT) lines — with buses running every three to seven minutes. The system of “light rail on rubber tires,” officials hope, will provide another affordable travel option and help absorb the growth in travel that’s expected in the coming years.

Boston transit ridership up for 15th consecutive month

The Boston-area transit agency, MBTA, is having a rough go of it — so much so that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is apparently mulling bailing out the agency’s $10 billion in debt. And to be fair, not all of that debt is the agency’s fault (see: the Big Dig). In spite of that, ridership on the system is in the midst of a record-breaking streak: 15 months of sustained month-to-month ridership growth, according to radio station WBUR.

The article’s most important ‘graph:

The jump was fueled largely by bus ridership, which topped 400,000 for the average weekday in consecutive months for the first time.

Acting MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis credited the boost in bus ridership to the more than 100,000 smartphone users who have downloaded apps that provide real-time schedule information.