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RTS wants input on possible new routes 

For much of RTS's ongoing project to modernize and redesign its public transit system, the agency has been clear that its goal is to have a bus system that offered frequent service; faster, more direct trips; and wait times under 30 minutes.

Today, the agency released a draft proposal of new routes drawn to achieve that goal.  The routes, which are not final, were developed as part of the Reimagine RTS project and are contained in a consultant's draft transit plan. RTS has set up a website for the draft plan, which includes a map of the potential routes. The agency is also holding a series of 30 public information and input sessions, details of which can also be found on the plan website.

The draft lays out 10 frequent service routes and 20 local services routes, though it pares back on some of the lines that extended deepest into the suburbs. some of which already had very limited service. During today's press conference, RTS CEO Bill Carpenter said that the organization would work to explore other options to serve those areas, such as van pools or shuttles sponsored by businesses for  their employees.

The draft routes would serve 95 percent of the current ridership, Carpenter said.

The frequent service lines would run no more than 15 minutes apart from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and no more than 30 minutes apart from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. to midnight on weekdays. On weekends, they'd run 30 minutes apart from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and an hour apart for all other hours of service. This network would serve 64 percent of riders, Carpenter says.

On the local service routes, buses would run 30 minutes apart from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and hourly from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. to midnight on weekdays. They'd run hourly from 6 a.m. to midnight on weekends.

The routes have also been designed to better connect with each other, which means more route transfers will happen outside of the downtown Transit Center, Carpenter said. The design also includes two cross-town routes.

Prior to the plan, RTS and its consultants solicited public comment and conducted a study of where bus riders live, where they're getting on and off, and what their destinations were. That information, and other data that the agency already had, was used to develop the draft transit plan and the potential routes.


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