Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Going somewhere? Changes to city buses on the way.

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 5:08 PM

old drawing of a bus
  • lovelornpoets
  • Public transportation hasn't improved much over the years in the Springs.

Changes to the bus schedule are once again on the way. But, this time, there's no need to freak out.

Sure, most recent changes to the city transit system have been received poorly — and by poorly, I mean people showed up in droves to City Council meetings and literally begged for them not to come to pass. But this is different. This time, the city is adding services.

That said, bus riders shouldn't get used to the cushy treatment. Mayor Steve Bach has made it perfectly clear that he believes public transit in the Springs should be a small-scale service. He's often talked of limiting service to a tightly defined area of the city. According to the mayor, the city can't afford a comprehensive transit plan like Denver, and it lacks the density to make such a plan work.

Ray Kruger, facilitator of the Green Cities Coalition Transportation Working Group, doesn't buy it. He believes transit is worth the money, and he notes that Colorado Springs is only slightly less dense than big cities like Houston and Seattle, and more dense than Albuquerque and Austin. (He bases those claims on this Wikipedia chart.)

Long-range plans aside, those who want to comment on the short-range changes should check out the city's press release below. Meetings start tomorrow.

Mountain Metropolitan Transit Proposed Service Changes Spring 2013
Public Meeting Schedule

The Transit Services Division of the City of Colorado Springs, administrator of Mountain Metropolitan Transit (MMT), has scheduled three public meetings to obtain public input on the proposed service changes for Spring 2013 prior to a final decision. The meeting dates, locations, and times follow:

January 23
5:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.
Colorado Springs City Hall
Council Chambers, Third Floor
107 N. Nevada Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

January 24
5:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.
Manitou Springs City Hall
City Council Chambers
606 Manitou Avenue
Manitou Springs, CO 80829

January 25
Noon — 2:00 p.m.
Colorado Springs City Hall
107 N Nevada Ave.
City Council Chambers
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Attendance at public meetings is not required to comment. You may also fax your comments to 719-385-5419 or email to transitinfo@springsgov.com. Proposed service change comments will be accepted through January 25, 2013. Please notify Mountain Metropolitan Transit at least 3 days in advance if you require communications assistance by calling 719-385-7433.

Proposed service changes include:
Manitou Summer Shuttle
It is proposed to add a Mountain Metropolitan Transit (MMT) circulator bus in downtown Manitou Springs. This service would be funded through a federal grant awarded to the City of Manitou Springs. The route would help alleviate parking congestion near the Pikes Peak Cog Railway and the Manitou Incline. The summer service would start on 5/19/2013 and end on 9/7/2013. There would be no fare due to the short route and the availability of federal grant funding. The route would operate along Manitou Avenue and connect to the Cog Railway/Incline area on Ruxton Avenue. It would operate daily 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Evening Service on Key Routes
Due to additional 2013 funds being appropriated by the City of Colorado Springs, it is proposed to add limited evening Mountain Metropolitan Transit services. The extended service will help more citizens connect back home from jobs that end later in the day. Hourly service would be added to MMT’s higher volume routes between the current end of service day to approximately 9:45 p.m. on weekdays. The routes that originate at the Downtown Transfer Station would have their last departure at 9:15 p.m. (versus the current last trip at 6:15 p.m.).
#1: Hillside-Hancock Plaza
#3: Colorado Avenue
#5: Boulder Street
#7: Pikes Peak Ave. - Citadel
#9: South portion only - Downtown Transfer Station to UCCS
#10: Hwy 115 - Pikes Peak Community College
#11: World Arena - Pikes Peak Community College
#25: Academy Blvd.

Taxi Voucher
It is proposed that MMT add a limited taxi voucher option for existing ADA paratransit, Metro Mobility customers who meet certain trip criteria and who are interested in taking advantage of this option. No riders would lose ADA Metro Mobility service, rather; this is an additional service option. The option is being added as a way to promote independence and help control costs.

Day Pass
It is proposed to add a new fixed-route transit day pass ($4) as a convenience to existing and new MMT customers. Riders would have unlimited rides until midnight the same day of purchase. This new payment option would be available for sale at MMT fare boxes and in ticket vending machines.
22-Ride Bus Ticket
It is proposed to phase out the existing 22-ride pass and replace it with a 20-ride pass in an effort to help simplify MMT passes for non-standard riders. To correspond with the reduced number of trips, the cost would be reduced from $35 to $32 and the ‘Special’ reduced-rate passes for seniors/youth/disabled riders would be reduced to $16 from $17.50.
Summer Haul Pass
It is proposed to increase the price of this existing summer youth pass from $20 to $25 in an effort to increase cost-recovery for this special unlimited-ride summer youth pass program.

Route 14 - Chestnut St - Garden of the Gods Rd
It is proposed to make minor schedule/timepoint adjustments to this route to improve on-time performance.

Mountain Metropolitan Transit provides local fixed-route bus service and Metro Mobility ADA paratransit service for Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region. All buses are wheelchair-lift equipped. Mountain Metropolitan Transit also provides other services such as Metro Rides’ ridesharing, vanpool, and bicycling programs. For added convenience, there are bike racks on all buses for riders who want to utilize the bike-n-bus program. For additional information regarding Mountain Metropolitan Transit please visit www.mmtransit.com, or call (719) 385-RIDE (7433). Mountain Metro, clean, safe, and economical.
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