Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Some suggestions for the bus system

Brainshrub Bus Project

Today is the 17th day of the Brainshrub Bus Project. At this point, I have a few suggestions that Asheville Public Transit (APT), and other bus systems, might find helpful. I hope they don't take these ideas as a critisism of them.

I've been impressed with the professionalism of APT and the system only gets easier to navigate the more often it's used.

1) The location that APT places most notices is useless unless you were born with telescopic vision.

Currently, when APT wants to inform riders of news or changes to the schedule, they do so on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper taped to the partition behind the driver.

This is what it looks like from about 8 feet away:

Can you make the text out? Neither can most people from beyond the second seat.

It would behoove APT to print announcements on large placards, with bigs fonts, then place them in the ad-space above the seats. Like this:

Not only would more people see the notices, but it will give us something to read.

2) The bus station needs bike racks on the main platform.

While there are two bike racks in back of the terminal building along Coxe Avenue, they can't be seen by their owners because the building blocks line-of-sight. This creates an ideal situation for would-be bike thieves.

It's also inconvenient to lock a bike behind the building, then go back when the bus arrives.

Currently, bike owners have no other alternative but to bring their rides onto the platform and lock them to the benches - thus inconveniencing other passengers.

4) Play Mozart at the main terminal.

MozartNothing adds an air of class and calm to a place like Mozart.

5) A fare should be good for one round trip if the bus is headed away from the central terminal.

I hope I can explain this suggestion clearly.

Let's say a working mom who gets off her shift in West Asheville at 5pm. She lives in East Asheville, and is therefore going to need to take a transfer at the main terminal.

There is a bus she can pick up at 5:15pm; however, it is west-bound and headed in the wrong direction. This same bus will arrive on the opposite site of the street in half an hour.

If our hypothetical worker climbed onto the 5:15pm west-bound bus, and just rode it full-circle until it became east-bound back to the station, she will be charged twice: Once when she got on the bus, and again when the bus heads back to the terminal.

I was surprised to find this out the hard way. Why should anyone have to wait 30 minutes at a bus stop when they could make the same trip in an air-conditioned vehicle?

For the explanation behind the Brainshrub Bus Project, click here.

To see all posts for the Brainshrub Bus Project, click here.


1000 black lines said...

Right on. I loudly agree with 1 and 4. I noticed yesterday that the buses were out of the nifty new brochure which detailed bus routes and times. The in-bus notices are poorly designed (meaning inadequate communication). And yes, some Mozart, Chopin or even Ellington would be a welcomed addition to the Transit Center.

Edgy Mama said...

Go, shrub! This is a great project!