Better Bus Stops Program
“Making improvements to our transit service by reducing travel times and upgrading your bus stop experience.”
In the DTA’s 2017 Transit Development Plan, the community expressed a strong desire to see improvements to travel times and investments at bus stops. The Better Bus Stops Program will address two items based on high priority objectives in the plan – investments at targeted bus stops to improve the passenger experience and a bus stop balancing initiative to consolidate and optimize the number of stops.
While we can’t feasibly improve every bus stop, consolidating stops will help us make strategic investments with the limited funding available. Consolidation will involve outreach to the public, stakeholders, and provide opportunities to gain input on the impacts to individual riders.
Recently, the DTA has invested in several bus stop improvements to make your experience waiting for the bus more pleasant and enjoyable. 35 shelters that were 40-50 years old were replaced, with another 18 planned for the summer of 2021. 10 solar lights were piloted in shelters, with more planned.
There are several more investments planned in the coming years. Over $2 million in funding has been programmed for bus stop improvements over the next 5 years. Investments will improve:
- Accessibility – Improvements to the boarding and waiting area surfaces.
- Amenities – Seating, new and replacement shelters, bike storage, real-time bus arrival info.
- Safety – Solar lighting where there is limited lighting.
- Bus Stop Signage – Better visibility of every sign and additional information.
- Park and Ride/transfer points – Improved surfaces, lighting, and better waiting areas.
Bus Stop Balancing
Studies have found that boardings can take about 32% of a bus’s operational time. Within the DTA’s service area there are about 1,400 bus stops, often one block apart. Having that many stops so close together can negatively impact travel times, vehicle and bus stop maintenance, and make optimal investments harder to identify.
Consolidation of bus stops will improve on-time performance and our ability to effectively invest in amenities (shelters, lighting, larger waiting areas, benches, bike storage, heating, and more). Additional benefits include improving rider experience by increasing the overall speed of the system to be more efficient. Cleaning and maintenance is another consideration. Having so many stops to maintain makes it very difficult for our staff to respond to cleaning and maintenance needs.
The objective of the bus stop balancing project is to look at every bus stop for usage, safety for all users of the street, the distance between bus stops, elevations, sidewalk accessibility for persons with disabilities and mobility impairments, route transfers, and more. In accordance with industry best practice, the DTA is aiming for stops ¼ mile apart or every 2-3 blocks. Bus stops are the gateways to the Twin Port’s transit system and we’d like to make them better.
Stay tuned for progress updates and ongoing community dialog!