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Southron

River Region Public Transit

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The city of Montgomery hired a Cincinnati-based transportation consulting firm, First Transit Inc., to draft a five-year plan (2008-12) for improving public transit. Bus riders are offering input to the plan, including requests for longer hours and Sunday service, in public hearings. A preliminary draft of the plan should be available in October.

Montgomery Advertiser: Riders discuss bus plan

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A Montgomery Advertiser editorial suggested some modest improvements for regional transit. Suggestions included:

  • Park-and-ride locations in key outlying areas where commuters could meet to car pool.

  • A transit system connecting Prattville, Wetumpka and Millbrook with Montgomery's new intermodal transportation center and with key state office buildings.

  • Expanding the Montgomery bus system's charter to allow it to provide at least minimum services between the city and outlying communities within Montgomery County.

Montgomery Advertiser: Consider area transit alternatives

These are some pretty good suggestions that area officials should work to implement to begin the process of building a viable regional transit system.

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Downtown Streetcar Proposal

The downtown master plan includes a proposal to reinstate part of the old Lightning Route streetcar service in downtown Montgomery. When it went into service in the 1880's, the original Lightning Route was the first city-wide electric streetcar service in the US. Hopefully, the city can get this funded and implemented, but who knows.

Short older article here:

http://www.heritagetrolley.org/planMontgomeryRTOL1.htm

LightningRoute.jpg

Dexter_streetsection.jpg

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Prattville Mayor Jim Byard suggests an Alabama River water taxi service to help connect Prattville and downtown Montgomery, as well as Montgomery bus service to Autauga and Elmore counties. Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright likes the water taxi idea as well.

Maybe these officials can work together to get area-wide transit solutions in place. Extending bus service to Autauga and Elmore counties would be a great help.

Montgomery Advertiser: River Region mayors share ideas for transportation planning

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Montgomery's lunch trolley experiment seems to be a success -- more people are using it each week. Many riders say they are trying new restaurants because of the service. City leaders say they are pleased enough with the trolley project that they are not considering any cuts to the system, which has two of the city's three wheeled trolleys running the lunch loop.

Montgomery launched the lunch trolley April 24, the same day Court Square reopened. The trolley runs weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., offering free rides to over 30 downtown restaurants.

Montgomery Advertiser: Downtown Lunch Trolley a ringing success so far

Montgomery Advertiser: Downtown trolley gives free rides to lunch spots

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Downtown Streetcar Proposal

The downtown master plan includes a proposal to reinstate part of the old Lightning Route streetcar service in downtown Montgomery. When it went into service in the 1880's, the original Lightning Route was the first city-wide electric streetcar service in the US. Hopefully, the city can get this funded and implemented, but who knows.

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I'm saying, look out Huntsville, for Montgomery. All these new things:the riverfront, the lunch trolley, the possible water taxi, and lightning route, the downtown revitalization. It's all putting Montgomery in a place to grow faster and faster. It'd be while before Montgomery could actually catch up to Huntsville, but, it's very possible.

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If the number of riders continues to increase as expected, the millionth passenger (since the fiscal year began October 1, 2006) will board a bus sometime in September -- indicating that ridership will grow by over 10% in 2007. The Montgomery fixed-route bus system has been growing substantially every year since it was re-established in 2000 with 3 routes, and there are now 16 routes. Ridership increased 247% between 2000 and 2006. Bus service times were extended in April of this year by two additional evening hours.

Montgomery Advertiser: More riders going bus route

Montgomery Area Transit System

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If the number of riders continues to increase as expected, the millionth passenger (since the fiscal year began October 1, 2006) will board a bus sometime in September -- indicating that ridership will grow by over 10% in 2007. The Montgomery fixed-route bus system has been growing substantially every year since it was re-established in 2000 with 3 routes, and there are now 16 routes. Ridership increased 247% between 2000 and 2006. Bus service times were extended in April of this year by two additional evening hours.

Montgomery Advertiser: More riders going bus route

Montgomery Area Transit System

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It'd be nice if we could see some population figures for the area to compare this too. I'd like to see if the increase is mostly due to population increase, or if it is just due to people noticing that there's mass transit now. Hopefully, it's the last one.

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MATS put together a Google map of the free downtown lunch trolley route, with locations of downtown restaurants and links to restaurant websites. The trolley runs weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lunch Trolley Express Map

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The Montgomery Area Transit System is awaiting final approval for a federal grant that will allow the purchase of three new buses for the next three years, which will help serve a continued increase in ridership. Passenger trips made in October were at the highest level since bus service was re-established seven years ago.

Montgomery Advertiser: City may boost bus service

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A consulting firm hired to assess the Montgomery Area Transit System, suggest changes, and draft a five-year plan (2008-2012) is expected to release its report about two weeks from now. The city's planning and development department will get public input on the suggested changes and the five-year plan.

Montgomery Advertiser: Consulting firm weighs in on transit system

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Montgomery's lunch trolley service has been operating for a year now, and downtown restaurant owners are glad to have it. There have been a few route changes suggested and city officials plan to do an evaluation of the service soon, but the city remains committed to the service.

Out to lunch: After a year, trolley still on the move

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Bus ridership on the Montgomery Area Transit System is up 28 percent so far this year. Officials attribute the increase in ridership to rising gas prices, expanded hours and the convenience of the new air-conditioned intermodal center.

Maybe the continued increase in ridership will lead to Sunday service and further expanded evening hours sooner rather than later.

Montgomery bus ridership increases

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Bus ridership on the Montgomery Area Transit System is up 28 percent so far this year. Officials attribute the increase in ridership to rising gas prices, expanded hours and the convenience of the new air-conditioned intermodal center.

Maybe the continued increase in ridership will lead to Sunday service and further expanded evening hours sooner rather than later.

Montgomery bus ridership increases

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It would be smart to expand the routes out east with express buses that don't stop as often between downtown and malls downtown and heavy business areas. Also need to keep transfers free or low cost. Maybe they could run the new buses on biodiesel and have that lovely french fry smell

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The new transit development plan for 2009-2013 is available for download from the MATS website. Included are some combined and reconfigured bus routes to increase the timeliness and reliability of the system. Realigned routes would include direct service from the downtown intermodal center to the airport and the Greyhound bus station.

Transit Development Plan 2009-2013 (.pdf)

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