[tabi] Re: Starmetro's Garrison leaves for new job

  • From: "Allison and Chip Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2012 09:01:03 -0500

And, we don't have a "live" indication as to where each bus is, so that we
could tell if we've missed it or how late it is.





From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Sila Miller
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2012 7:25 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Starmetro's Garrison leaves for new job


Proud of 5 electric buses that must be recharged about once an hour, taking
10 minutes away from running routes? Proud that we don't have automated
announcements on buses? Proud that we still don't have braille bus signage
or tactile indication of where bus stop poles are? Really, has anyone ridden
any of these electric buses? Frankly, this makes me angry. Think I'd take a
job in another state too.


----- Original Message ----- 

From: Chip Orange <mailto:Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>  

To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 

Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2012 8:40 AM

Subject: [tabi] Starmetro's Garrison leaves for new job


From today's Democrat:


The man behind the city's public-transit overhaul is leaving StarMetro's top
post for one more focused on advancements in electric buses and smart


StarMetro's Executive Director Ron Garrison is going to work for Proterra
Inc. in Greenville, S.C., a company helping to revolutionize future public
transit that also has a city contract for Tallahassee's first electric
buses. His last day with the city is Jan. 1.


Garrison, 55, led the move toward a decentralized bus system in July 2011,
eliminating the need to transfer only at C.K. Steele Plaza and adding more
transfer points citywide.


Praise and complaints followed and some regular riders continue to question
the system's efficiency.


Garrison stands by the upgrade, adding it now has more routes traveling to
areas not previously served, shorter overall trip times and more buses
serving stops at peak times.


"I'll take all the darts and arrows. I knew this would be very hard, but I
knew in my heart it was the right thing to do," Garrison said. 

"We created a system that laid a foundation for the future of Tallahassee.
With the other system there was no real way to improve or expand it without
totally exploding the cost."


The challenge was making the historic change without spending more money
while also attracting new riders. StarMetro reports a 2.5-percent increase
in ridership when compared to the average ridership of the three prior


Two years ago, the Federal Transit Administration gave the city a $5-million
grant to purchase electric buses.


The following year, the city entered into a contract with Proterra to buy
three new, all-electric buses and construct a charging station. 

Last year, the grant was bumped to $7 million for an additional two electric


Garrison, an enthusiast of tech-savvy enhancements throughout StarMetro's
shop, said he'll be responsible for developing new intelligent
transportation systems and working with customers on warranty and
maintenance systems.


"I've been hear almost eight years," Garrison said, adding he's proud of the
support he received by city administration and the commission. 

"This is such a tremendous opportunity for my family and I. I really
struggled with it, but I couldn't pass it up."


Ivan Maldonado with StarMetro will be the acting director once Garrison


City commissioners recently said they want to have a workshop on
infrastructure proposals to improve the overall system, such as adding more
cement padding at grassy stops and covered shelters, said Assistant City
Manager Jay Townsend.


"From our perspective, we are continuing to move forward," he said, adding
Garrison and his team took on the challenge to transform the system. "We
have pretty much a modern fleet ... He should be proud of what he's done."






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