Friday, January 19, 2007

Laurels and brickbats for Asheville's Bus System

Brainshrub Bus Project

Here are a few laurels and brickbats to Asheville Public Transit:

Laurel: Map improvements.

On the old schedules, there was a map on the front with colored lines representing the different routes, and a schedule grid on the back with departure times. The problem was that the map-side didn't have reference numbers to make it easy to cross-check between the two.

Reference numbers have finally been added, making it much simpler to navigate the transit system. Good job APT!

Why aren't these being used?Brickbat: The plastic billboards are STILL not being used.

A friend of mind waited over an hour for a bus that never arrived this Monday because there is no transit service on Martin Luther King's birthday. I'm not criticizing APT for taking the day off, but why aren't they using the plastic announcement-boards that were installed last year for situations like this?

The working poor don't get most holidays off, and they deserve better warnings if they need to find another way to get to their jobs.

Posting announcements INSIDE the bus does nothing for those waiting OUTSITE for a ride on a holiday.

Laurel: Many buses now run as late 10:30 and monthly passes are now $15.*

I've reported before how great it was when bus service was expanded to 9:30pm. Now it's expanded again to as late as 10:30pm.

Also, the monthly passes are down to $15.

All I have to say about this is: Nicccccce.

Just: niccccce.


Brickbat: No way to travel between routes without going to downtown.

This last point isn't so much of a criticism as it is an observation.

I live in West Asheville, near Haywood Road, south of Patton Avenue. I just took a job in West Asheville, on New Leicester Highway, north of Patton Avenue. By car, I can get to work in just under seven minutes.

But if I take the bus, it takes me 40 minutes.


Because Asheville's transit system works like a bicycle-wheel: There is no way to get to another spoke without first going through the center. If I want to go to New Leicester from Haywood, I have to ride to the main station in downtown Asheville - about 20 minutes away by bus.

There should be at least one vehicle that connects routes without having to make a trip to the center.

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

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

No comments: