This morning, MTA’s strategic plan was released to the public, and it is ambitious. The plan covers a span of 25 years and includes the development of light rail and additional commuter rail, in addition to much better bus service.
In the shorter term, though, the plan will make incremental improvements. Over the next five years, nMotion’s plan hopes to increase the frequency and service hours of existing service of existing routes while adding more crosstown routes. They’d also like to make some of the routes traveling into downtown continue on to the other side of town — in essence, just combining routes that run on opposite sides of the city center. There are also plans to improve fare payment, which I wrote about earlier, and the agency would like to improve service for AccessRide customers.
Regionally, the nMotion planners intend to create better bus service to the suburbs. They would like to adopt bus-on-shoulder travel, dedicated bus lanes, and more trips.
Within about 15 years, the nMotion plan states that ground should be broken on light rail projects. They also expect that by then they will be able to provide quick service through downtown, where buses currently average just 6 MPH during afternoon rush hour.
Over the next several days, we’ll go into more detail on specific recommendations of the plan. If you just can’t wait, though, you can read the whole thing for yourself at the nMotion website.
Earlier: New Ideas for Transit: Right Now