Page 34

busline0918.FINAL.qxp_Layout 1 8/17/18 10:21 AM Page 34

“I think for regular fixed-route transit service, there will still cluding the Lafayette/West Lafayette area. be a need to have somebody on a bus for safety reasons. Hav“The labor shortage is so severe in this county, that industries ing a transit representative on an autonomous vehicle will help are looking to hire people who don’t drive, or who are able to the public feel more safe, oversee fare collection and handle drive, but don’t have the means to buy a car,” Sennett said. “In emergencies as they arise. the next few months, we are Also, the person on an aulooking at launching what we “In the next few months, we are looking at tonomous bus would be able call an ‘industrial express’ to give directions. This would launching what we call an ‘industrial express’ service. be especially true for CityBus, “Years ago, when I first got service... Buses will run during the start of as we transport thousands of into this business, taking peothe workday and during shift changes.” new students every year, plus ple to a factory was a rarity. It people who move here. On the just didn’t happen. Most peo— CityBus General Manager Martin Sennett whole, however, I don’t see ple drove their pickup trucks.” using autonomous buses on fixed-routes as much of a factor. On an industrial express route, buses will run during the start “Perhaps they would be more appropriate in a demand/re- of the workday and during shift changes. sponse program, where a bus picks up one or two people at a “The industrial express route will run about five hours of servparticular location.” ice a day, six days a week, rather than the usual 12 to 24 hour One thing CityBus is currently looking at is using autonomous service as on our fixed-routes,” Sennett said. vehicles to move buses into fueling position, and then park themEmployers will receive bus passes on consignment from Cityselves, Sennett said. Bus to provide at no cost to workers as a perk. The company will “That way,” he said, “as the number of vehicles goes up, we pay for the passes when they are distributed, and CityBus will rewill not have to increase the number of employees. I think that plenish the supply as needed. has a lot of promise.” “The benefits are two-fold. Employees are assured of transportation to and from work, which promotes good morale and ‘RIDE TO WORK’ PROGRAM loyalty, and employers can demonstrate that they value their workforce, while assuring they’re adequately staffed,” Sennett One of the results of the current U.S. economy’s low unem- said. “A pilot program launched with the local Kirby Risk Service ployment rate is labor shortages in many parts of the country, in- Center proved the program can be successful. It is a program we

Page 34

BUSLINE

September/October 2018

Sep/Oct 2018 Busline Magazine  

Busline Cover Feature: Coach Atlantic Group • Busline Transit Feature: Greater Lafayette CityBus • Busline Buyers Guide:Engines & Transmissi...

Sep/Oct 2018 Busline Magazine  

Busline Cover Feature: Coach Atlantic Group • Busline Transit Feature: Greater Lafayette CityBus • Busline Buyers Guide:Engines & Transmissi...

Advertisement