Jump to content

jarvismj

Greenville Transit

Recommended Posts

I respectfully disagree. The name makes a huge difference! When people hear a name or see a logo, they immediately form opinions (both consciously and subconsciously). I can guarantee that there will be more riders if the language used involves descriptive yet progressive terminology, as opposed to something bland or confusing.

Otherwise, I see the point of your post. We need everyone involved to truly put their money where their mouths are if public transit is going to get to the level described in Payne's email. Based on the history of public transit in Greenville, as well as that of County government, I consider it a monumental victory that County Council is even talking this way. :)

You are right, the name makes a difference. My point is that the City obviously recommended a name change which the GTA made at Wednesday's board meeting. Then, Councilman Payne sends out a lengthy email in support of transit, but in complete disagreement with the name chosen.

Even that being said, I would also consider it a monumental victory if County Council were talking the way he does. Unfortunately, they don't. They voted not to decrease funding in response to the City taking a boat load of responsibility for mass transit in our community. The fact that they had to vote not to decrease funding means that someone was considering it. The vote wasn't unanimous. What's equally discouraging is that County Council's recently most vocal supporter, Mr. Payne, isn't suggesting more funding from the County. What's vision without commitment?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Forgive me if this has been mentioned previously in this thread, but...as I returned home from a visit to my doctor for my annual physical this morning, I noticed crossing Pleasantburg what looked like a GTA bus that had been painted very green with the words "GO GREEN" painted on the side of it in large letters. I had not seen this before and wasn't close enough to glean any additional information/details from it. Has anybody else seen this? Could this be part of the re-branding of the bus system?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anybody know what this is about? I'm sure there are further details on the bus itself, if I were to get close enough to read. I'm just curious if this is part of an early feeler for re-branding the system or if it's something else entirely. Perhaps this bus is running on alrternative fuels? Maybe it's just an advertisement for something?

Regardless, it seems simple and to the point... "GO GREEN." I like it. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found this Article. Its more for larger city transit systems to speed up buses. But could help if they implement some of these things here now, to avoid issues in the future. But I like the idea of doing away with bus schedules and just having the buses on a frequent bases. and Then have them be tracked by GPS and in the bus shelter or at each stop have a screen with a nice looking map that tracks where buses are so you can tell when the bus will arrive at the stop. Not sure if the ridership numbers warrant a frequency running of the buses say like every 30mins or not though.

http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/03/five-steps-for.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found this Article. Its more for larger city transit systems to speed up buses. But could help if they implement some of these things here now, to avoid issues in the future. But I like the idea of doing away with bus schedules and just having the buses on a frequent bases. and Then have them be tracked by GPS and in the bus shelter or at each stop have a screen with a nice looking map that tracks where buses are so you can tell when the bus will arrive at the stop. Not sure if the ridership numbers warrant a frequency running of the buses say like every 30mins or not though.

http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/03/five-steps-for.html

I'm not sure how Greenville's buses run, but Clemson buses run on such a system, which makes me think that it's definitely do-able for Greenville. The on-campus routes vary from 3 minutes (Orange Rt), to 6 minutes (Blue Rt). Most off-campus routes run 30 minutes until 9pm when they start hourly service (Red Rt) or stop all together (Pendleton/Anderson Rts, and Seneca Rt). Clemson also switches to smaller capacity buses at night, when demand is less... I don't think a bus system is viable if service is not more frequent than an hour. Making people wait for extended periods of time won't increase ridership, especially if you want to connect to another line and the timing doesn't work well...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure how Greenville's buses run, but Clemson buses run on such a system, which makes me think that it's definitely do-able for Greenville. The on-campus routes vary from 3 minutes (Orange Rt), to 6 minutes (Blue Rt). Most off-campus routes run 30 minutes until 9pm when they start hourly service (Red Rt) or stop all together (Pendleton/Anderson Rts, and Seneca Rt). Clemson also switches to smaller capacity buses at night, when demand is less... I don't think a bus system is viable if service is not more frequent than an hour. Making people wait for extended periods of time won't increase ridership, especially if you want to connect to another line and the timing doesn't work well...

Thanks for the info on Clemson's bus schedule. I agree that Greenville should adopt a similar philosophy. We need for our transit system in Greenville to provide more routes with increased frequency of service - an "if you build it, they will come" philosophy. Transit officials can't expect to increase ridership if a bus only comes every hour, and only goes to a limited number of destinations. People will only ride if it is convenient for them.

At this point, transit officials have no business predicting the public's response to public transportation in Greenville. Because the system has not yet been made available to the general public!

Edited by Greenville

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At this point, transit officials have no business judging the success or failure of public transportation in Greenville because the system has not been made available to the general public.

:thumbsup: Well said and very true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info on Clemson's bus schedule. I agree that Greenville should adopt a similar philosophy. We need for our transit system in Greenville to provide more routes with increased frequency of service - an "if you build it, they will come" philosophy. Transit officials can't expect to increase ridership if a bus only comes every hour, and only goes to a limited number of destinations. People will only ride if it is convenient for them.

At this point, transit officials have no business predicting the public's response to public transportation in Greenville. Because the system has not yet been made available to the general public!

Exactly. Well said. The higher your frequency, the more riders you can potentially get. The best way to get people to ride public transit is to make it clean, convenient & reliable. If the bus only comes once an hour, you most likely wont ride it unless you have to because your whole schedule would otherwise operate on catching the bus... and what if you miss it?

The goal is to get people who don't HAVE to ride it to CHOOSE to ride it because its a good service and it gets you where you need to go. This is the only way to actually reduce the impact of the number of cars on the road. You need to be able to walk to the bus stop and have the thing show up in a reasonably short mount of time. In most cities, 15 minute headways are the norm for larger cities during peak hours. My bus here in Charlotte comes every 15 minutes in the AM and PM. The bus I took in Clemson came every 15 minutes during the AM and PM.

I'm not sure if GTA had any participants in the FTA's Choice Rider program, but it would be a good place to start if they have not. Basically, employers offer to pay for transit costs for worker who ride the bus (meaning you get a free bus pass) if you give up your car. This is much more effective in cities where you have to pay for parking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, you ride the Charlotte bus system, Spartan? Can you share details on the system? I'd think that if Charlotte, being another sunbelt city that only recently 'grew up', could do it, then Greenville definitely can (IF their system is viable, which it must be if you ride).

Here are a few questions I have for you:

-Do you park and ride, or does the bus more or less come to you?

-Also, what is the comparable time difference between driving yourself and riding the bus?

-What are the bus fares in Charlotte?

-And, do you have any major gripes with the Charlotte bus service (that we can learn from)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good questions. Charlotte does a decent job of getting you around town, but the system here is a "hub and spoke" network. That means that most trips are either to or from the transit center in uptown. Its great if you work uptown, but if you live in other parts of the city it can be a bit of a hassle. Having said that, it works well for me and my commute. I live in uptown, so its not a long distance trip. I walk about 1/2 mile to catch the bus, which comes about every 15 minutes. It doesn't cost me anything because my employer participates in the riders choice program, so rather than pay $100/mo to park, I can ride for free :) But for reference, the fare is $1.30 for the bus and the Lynx. I can walk to work in 25-30 minutes, bus in 15-20 minutes (3/4 of that time is spent walking to and from the bus), bike in 12-15 minutes, or drive in about 10. All times are from my front door to AIS.

I think transit works in Charlotte because uptown is the largest, most dense employment hub in the metro area. Parking and traffic during rush hour is obnoxious, so its just less of a hassle to ride the bus for many people. My main gripe, ironically, is that of the routes that are available to me, some of them are too crowded with people, and are unpleasant for me to cram myself on to. Other issues I have with it are that because of the hub and spoke system it is not practical for me to use transit for anything except commuting. I don't drive much during the week, but if I have to go outside of Uptown I will usually drive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Charlotte funds their system to the tune of something like $40 million or more annually - just renewed by public referendum this year (I didn't look up the figure, but I'm sure it's out there). Greenville funds its system something like $500,000/year.

That's the difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep. And Mecklenburg County has a dedicated 1/2 cent sales tax for transit (this was the "referendum" you mention). It was actually petitioned to be repealed, fortunately 70% of voters had enough sense to keep it.

GTA's budget was more like $4million, but only $500k came from Gville County. But your point is still valid :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, question here. If the BRT line has not yet been approved and funded, why is construction on the bridge for the BRT line/route underway over Woodruff. Who is paying for this? How does the entity building this bridge know how many lanes, type of construction, etc, if the route and funding has not been approved for BRT and future LRT use? :dontknow:

DSC04359.jpg

DSC04358.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the state (or whoever widened Woodruff Rd) having to rebuild the bridge, or at least get it prepared to a certain extent, since they tore it down for widening??

I don't know, but by the looks of it, it will be much higher than the old bridge, meaning that the rest of the right of way will have to be raise as well, or ramp up in some way to cross Woodruff Rd. Also, based upon looking at it in person, it only looks to allow for one lane of any kind of traffic, which should be fine for that one little stretch. But like you said, how do they know what they're doing won't have to be done again to meet its new use?

Edited by GvilleSC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I am not familiar with the details of this project, it is reasonable to assume that the state was asked or more than likely required to return the bridge to its former status of "existing."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had my first Charlotte LYNX experience on Thursday...it was great. We went up for the NCAA tournament games at the Bobcats arena. In stead of driving into downtown, going all over to find somewhere to park, then paying through the nose for a space, we decided to give LYNX a shot.

I got off 85 and went down Billy Graham, which pretty much runs right into the LYNX line at Woodlawn station. There was a big parking lot right across the street from the station. Parking, buying tickets, and getting on the train was unbelievably easy. The stations and trains are practically brand new and very sleek and urban looking. The 10-minute ride was smooth and quiet, and after only a few stops, the train was packed (mostly UNC and Louisville fans). After the game, we got on the very first train at the station downtown (which is literally right next to the arena). And 10 minutes later, we were in our car and headed home.

If you're looking to get into downtown Charlotte, LYNX is a no-brainer. I'm a huge fan of public transportation, and everything about LYNX was so top-notch. I have no doubt that it will be a huge hit and and go a long way in convincing a lot of other cities to do the same. I think a similar system in Greenville could be successful, but the route would have to be very carefully chosen for the highest volume. It seems like convincing people to try it once would be the hardest part. But once you've done it, you'll never go back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the transition not start until April, or has it already started?

I heard that there may be a press conference at City Hall on Monday morning regarding the GTA. Maybe it's about the start date, or maybe they've chosen their new Director of Transportation.

Any guesses?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greenlink's website: RideGreenLink.com

I like what I'm seeing on there. They have a Green Initiative section that says starting April 1, 2008 ALL of the buses in the fleet will run on Biodiesel. It also has a 'savings calculator' and an example of how many fares one tank of gas at $3.50 for a 20 gallon tank will buy... (56 one-way tickets @ $1.25 apiece). Also from reading some of the other stuff on there, it sounds like they want to make this a 'real' commuting option.

Troubles with current service in my opinion: The latest that any bus run on any given day is 7:30pm (only 3 routes), while the others stop at 6:30pm. And the routes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, GvilleSC! I'm really liking what I'm reading there. I love it that they're focusing on going green, cost savings by using mass transit, and also encouraging you to ride your bike to a bus stop and emphasizing that the buses are equipped with bike racks.

Also, the re-branding is going to include new signs, shelters, etc. - all of which is very encouraging.

Even the route maps and route schedules are there - something that's been inadequate with GTA's old site in the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopefully this means the new system is starting off on the right foot AND is a glimpse of what is to come...

I know May is coming fast, but if Greenlink can make riding the bus truly viable for average citizens, then I really want to give it a shot this summer for work. Fortunately the bus station is centrally located downtown (though the site's use is debatable whether it is under utilized or not), though a downtown looping service off of Main would be nice (since the Trolley can only help you so much WHEN it's running)...

Edited by GvilleSC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Greenville Journal had an article this week in which the city manager talked about the potential of a $100 million BRT line to ICAR. That would be amazing! They'd have to beef up the rest of the system to support something like that wouldn't they?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.