Charlottesville considers new bus routes
Charlottesville Area Transit held an open meeting Tuesday evening to present proposed changes to the free trolley and CAT bus routes. The major changes would attempt to make routes more direct.
Charlottesville Area Transit Manager Lance Stewart said the current route system has changed little since the 1980s, and Charlottesville City Council recently recommended reviewing the routes. “These proposals served as a broad look at how to efficiently operate this system,” Stewart said.
The proposal considers two main options for route changes. The first would maintain a system focused on the downtown area and the second system would be geared toward Jefferson Park Avenue residents. Both routes would have the buses operate on a more direct path and focus routes around landmarks where larger groups of people have access to them.
The effects of route changes on University students and faculty will be minimal, Stewart said.
The proposal also considered an on-demand system for buses that would allow riders to call in and request buses to come to them, as the proposed route changes would concentrate buses in high-transportation areas. “It’s a new idea for neighborhoods that are not as densely productive,” Stewart said.
Residents voiced mixed feelings about the transit plan at Tuesday’s meeting because they had gotten used to the current bus schedule, Stewart said.
The University Transit Service could not be reached for comment about how their routes could change in response to developments in local transportation.
Stewart said the consultants working on the proposal will gather feedback until December and should have a final plan in place by spring. City Council will have the final say about changes to the City’s bus routes.