Personalized Travel Programs for families, schools and theme groups with environmental training, visits to state-of-the-art transit facilities and museums featuring the history of rail and water transport.
Communities and Local Public Transport Initiatives
Americans are second to none in their love of the automobile but in recent years efficient and affordable public transit – in the form of bus rapid transit, subways, elevated and other rail services and trolley cars – for urban, suburban and intercity service – have been debated, studied and in some instances implemented.
Our US itineraries include cities with established commuter and regional service as well as communities that are implementing new transit programs. An opportunity to meet with local planners and managers as well as travel efficiently, safely and affordably as you visit the United States.
Colorado Springs is renowned for its walkable historic areas, its commitment to sustainability and its natural attractions and ample recreational opportunities in the nearby Rocky Mountains. Activities range from family itineraries to educational, cultural and a wide range of outdoor programs. Experience scenic and historic train ride s aboard the Broadmoor’s Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad and Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad. Colorado Springs’ first streetcar service was powered by horses; at its peak, a total of 10 horse-drawn trolley cars operated in the city. In 1890, the Colorado Springs Rapid Transit Railway began replacing the horse car lines with electric power, a system that numbered 44 electric cars by 1900; at its peak, the system covered 41 miles. In 1931, buses began replacing streetcars. Streetcar service ended shortly thereafter.
Metropolitan Portland’s commuters and visitors have many options to get around in America’s best pedestrian and transit-friendly city. Public transit is comprised of TriMet’s regional bus network and the Metropolitan Area Express – MAX – light rail system, which connects the city and suburbs while the WES Commuter Rail reaches Portland’s western suburbs. Portland Streetcar connects shopping areas and dense residential districts north and northwest of downtown as well as the east side of the Willamette River. The Portland Transit Mall on Fifth and Sixth avenues limits automobile access in favor or bus and light rail service. And Portland’s mainline steam locomotives can be seen pulling excursion trains operated by the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation.
Hershey, PA from Roads to Rails, travel back in time as O-gauge trains chug through the idyllic Pennsylvania countryside and multiple scenes reminiscent of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. The Museum of Bus Transportation has partnered with the Antique Auto Club of America Museum to provide museum quality displays of the bus industry – intercity, transit, and school – for the public. It also serves to showcase the industry’s growth and development in the United States and celebrate the role that the bus industry continues to play in mobility and progress of the American public.
The Motor Bus Industry Occupies a Vital Place in America’s Everyday Life
In rural areas and in the thousands of towns and cities across the nation, buses provide personal transport, carrying more persons daily than all other public modes of transportation put together. The evolution of this industry provides a fascinating story of invention, entrepreneurship and the effort of thousands of people risking their time and capital in the hope of creating a profitable business.
The Grapevine Vintage Railroad follows a scenic route to the Fort Worth Stockyards along the Cotton Belt Railroad right-of-way. The service is a tourist attraction due to its slow speeds. The Grapevine Rail also hosts one of the community’s seven winery tasting rooms. A new train station downtown and north of the airport are included in the proposed commuter route that follows existing rail lines from downtown Fort Worth, northeast to downtown Grapevine and then into the north entrance of Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. The route connects with other transportation services, including the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) commuter rail service, AMTRAK, and downtown bus transfer center at the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center as well as a connection to the Dallas Dart Rail.
Fort Worth It is easy to get around Fort Worth or travel to nearby Dallas and Grapevine.Bus the T – Fort Worth Transport Authority – provides extensive service throughout the city and its cultural attractions. Rail the TRE – Trinity Rail Express – connects Fort Worth and Dallas with transfer access to DFW International Airport.Air DFW is only 17.5 miles from downtown Fort Worth via bus, rail or taxi service. From here, you can reach any major city in the U.S. in less than four hours. Walking is a wonderful way to experience the city’ entertainment districts and the Trinity Trails. Bike Sharing: Bike sharing is an inexpensive, healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around Fort Worth. Pick up a bike at any of the 40 docking stations.
Water Resources Management and the Environment
Visit and study the efforts of communities that are in the forefront of water resources management and other environmentally sustainable practices in coastal and river waterfront development in small towns and large cities as well as agricultural communities. Local officials and nonprofit stewards of the environment, among others, will explain their policies, programs and best management practices in wastewater and watershed management, land conservancy issues, LEED certifications, recycling, rainwater collection and energy efficient systems.
In Montgomery County, Maryland Experience Rain Garden Training, a hands-on rain garden building class at a pre-dug site. After reviewing the criteria for siting and sizing rain gardens, participants determine and finish the grading, install the soil media, build the berm, plant and mulch the garden.
You can also learn the complex procedures that govern the building, watershed and renewable energy permitting process.
Some communities have been in the forefront of land conservation, historic preservation and the arts movements that celebrates land and landscapes and water resources management initiatives:
In the Lehigh Valley, the local culture draws from the Moravian settlements experience in which all men were equal; a broad cultural environment in which music, art, education and religious tolerance flourished, as evidenced by the communal dwellings, churches and industrial structures still present.
The Brandywine Valley has focused on Development & Conservancy Issues, including floodplain areas that threaten to devastate water supplies in parts of the Delaware River Valley. Local resident-initiated conservation easements that now protect five and one-half miles along the Brandywine River.
In the city of Philadelphia, the waterfront is now a 6-mile walking and biking destination. Trail features include streetscape improvements along the entire waterfront trail, a bi-directional bikeway, pedestrian walkway and rain gardens that collect the first inch of storm water, relieving the city sewer system during major weather events, as well as benches, bike racks, decorative street pavers and innovative solar trail lighting. Center City offers a thriving culture and entertainment scene as well as a contemporary arts museum with training programs and study tours for students, aspiring artists and families.
Dallas is the first ISO 14001 certified city in the US – the international environmental standard which sets environmental goals for organizations and communities – and among the first to adopt a green building program that now boasts 5 LEED Gold, 1 LEED-EB Silver and 2 certified buildings. New projects in the city include pedestrian-friendly parks such as Main Street Garden, Belo Garden and the Klyde Warren Park. Dallas also is home to the Trinity River Audubon Center, a LEED certified building with many sustainable features: a vegetated roof, rainwater collection system, energy efficient systems and recycled materials.
Travel Destinations and Learning Experiences