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Now that the City has control of GreenLink, I wonder what sort of timetable/future they see for the multinodal transit hub or whatever it is... (that is a City-visioned project isn't it?)

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Last year, GTA had 840,620 passengers. If the bus ran everyday, (which it doesn't, so you can boost this number slightly to get a better average) then approximately 2,300 people rode daily.

I also was studying their routes and times on their website. Unfortunately, the routes only run hourly. Nonetheless, I think it's very possible for me to only drive about a mile each day and catch the bus for work this summer. It will double my commuting time, but I'm going to give it a whirl. If it's not too much of a hassle, then I'll continue. Hopefully my riding will ultimately help and encourage the expansion of the system and increase the frequency. I challenge everyone to ride the bus at least once this year. For the betterment of Greenville (and your wallet!) :)

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For comparison purposes:

CARTA (Charleston) had over 3 Million riders last year.

CAT (Clemson) expects to break the 2 million mark this year (first quarter riders are up 89% over last year's)

I struggled to find anything on CMRTA (Columbia's)

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One thing I noticed that CARTA does a lot of is sponsorship of their buses. They offer the full wrap-around ads on many of their buses, to the point that you sometimes can't easily tell that it is a CARTA bus. All of their buses aren't like that, but many of them are. I am not sure if Columbia does that, but if so it isn't nearly as prominent as in Charleston. This got me wondering if Greenville does anything like this. If our system is struggling financially, it makes sense to consider this option for area businesses, doesn't it? While it wouldn't be as attractive as the consistent GreenLink colors and logo, it would potentially give our system the money to make some necessary upgrades. Perhaps it would even pay for some new routes.

This obviously has its pros and cons. What does everyone think?

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I saw a GreenLink branded bus this morning. It was mostly white with some green stripes and purple here and there...GreenLink logo...web address on the back...looked good. Not as urban and techy as the green/silver GTA buses. More Greenville-y.

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I saw a GreenLink branded bus this morning. It was mostly white with some green stripes and purple here and there...GreenLink logo...web address on the back...looked good. Not as urban and techy as the green/silver GTA buses. More Greenville-y.

What about the new buses makes them look less urban?

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What about the new buses makes them look less urban?

Just the paint scheme. The buses look the same. It's not that they don't look urban, it's just that the new colors aren't as urban.

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I saw a GreenLink branded bus this morning. It was mostly white with some green stripes and purple here and there...GreenLink logo...web address on the back...looked good. Not as urban and techy as the green/silver GTA buses. More Greenville-y.

That's actually the one thing from the new GreenLink web site that didn't overwhelm me - the bus they showed there with the new paint scheme. I am reserving complete judgement until I actually see one of them driving around with the new paint scheme, but I'd have to agree...the design (from the photo on the web site) doesn't scream, "Ride me! I'm a sophisticated urban transit system!" I'd think for starters they'd want the buses to be high-visibility (such as those used by LYNX in Orlando) colors so they grab your attention? I'd think that would be rule #1 in managing a transit system based solely on buses. :huh:

Edited by RestedTraveler

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While this is definitely just talk right now and has not been officially implemented, I think it's still good news for GreenLink. The talk now is about expanding bus service to The Shops at Greenridge. It's definitely a destination in Greenville County (and City) and it's a good move IMO to add this to the current routes and stops.

Also, Bourey mentions that an hour is too long of an interval to run the buses. He says it's just 'not good service' if people must wait an hour because they missed the bus.

Here's a link to the video about the possible changes:

WYFF4.com

While talk will only get you so far, we have no reason to believe the City won't follow through on these plans. Plus, it all must start somewhere. :)

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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.

Unless the bus frequency is at least one every fifteen minutes, I don't see busing sans-schedule working. I know I won't take the bus if I don't know if I am going to have to wait 30 minutes for it. I would think 15 minute intervals would have to be a minimum.... but preferably five or ten minutes. I think this is really only something feasible ini much denser regions.

It would only be amazing in my mind if they would talk about plans for say A REGIONAL line that dont just serve downtown and CU-ICAR and points in between. I dont work at ICAR nor anywhere between here or there. If they want to truly get people out of their cars go where ALL of them go and not just where SOME of them go. I work in Fountain Inn and if I didnt have to drive to work I wouldn't. Maybe the city and county should get together and make this happen instead of always working against each other. The CAT serves Clemson but ya know what Clemson students that I have known go to Anderson to Target and the mall and things like that and ya know CAT GOES THERE, heck they probably even go to Seneca. The other talk about density, I could give a damn how many people per square mile live here I want rapid transit that goes where I go too. People here absolutely can not drive and I despise having to deal with it everyday but since I dont work at ICAR, the Carolina First Center or anywhere between there and downtown I'm left to play Russian roulette everyday... Classic... I know small towns with a better transit system than Greenville even dreams of having.

I think you're talking about two different things here. It is unrealistic to have a denser transit option to go to Fountain Inn. Heck... it's going to be an experiment to get it to CU-ICAR, as there really isn't much transit between the two to begin with. But you need to start somewhere. It's a build-it-and-they-will-come point of view.

A bus system on the other hand... it's alot more flexible. I think it's only a matter of time until it starts to head outside of the city. I can't think of any mass transit systems without functioning bus systems to feed them.

So you know of smaller towns with a better system? Do any of them not have a college presence? You say you don't care about density... but the density of a college is the bread-and-butter of a functioning transit system.

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One thing I noticed that CARTA does a lot of is sponsorship of their buses. They offer the full wrap-around ads on many of their buses, to the point that you sometimes can't easily tell that it is a CARTA bus. All of their buses aren't like that, but many of them are. I am not sure if Columbia does that, but if so it isn't nearly as prominent as in Charleston. This got me wondering if Greenville does anything like this. If our system is struggling financially, it makes sense to consider this option for area businesses, doesn't it? While it wouldn't be as attractive as the consistent GreenLink colors and logo, it would potentially give our system the money to make some necessary upgrades. Perhaps it would even pay for some new routes.

This obviously has its pros and cons. What does everyone think?

I generally don't like this idea because its good only in principle. Taking the CATbus in Clemson as an example, they have focused on building a brand, which is those purple busses, with orange accents. A better way, IMO, is to do something else that the CAT system does- let people who want the bus pay for it. Seneca, for example, pays for its bus routes, and CAT provides the service for them. Greenlink could offer the same thing. That way, the route's funding is guaranteed, but it doesn't sacrifice the look of the buses.

For comparison purposes:

CARTA (Charleston) had over 3 Million riders last year.

CAT (Clemson) expects to break the 2 million mark this year (first quarter riders are up 89% over last year's)

I struggled to find anything on CMRTA (Columbia's)

I think you might be interested to look at this website. It has transit data for almost every transit system in the USA, except Clemson for some reason.

National Transit Database

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Thanks for the link to NTD. I look forward to exploring it later on when I have more time. That is funny that they don't include CAT. Which brings me to a question: CAT has "#1 in SC" on their screens, which I truly believe, but what would that be based on?

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Three candidates for GTA top post will be interviewed next week

The candidates are:

  • D. David Bregger, a Buffalo area public transportation activist (and Author) who most recently served as chief executive officer for BFLO Transit Inc. in Buffalo, N.Y., where city, suburban, university, charter and contract bus services were integrated.
  • Michael Salamone, recently general manager for First Transit - Denton County Transit Authority in Texas, where he managed an 86-vehicle fleet with a $7 million budget. GTA's annual budget is about $3 million.
  • Thomas Williams, a 17-year executive who was most recently the transit director for Santa Fe Trails in New Mexico, where he managed a 110-employee, $7 million budget.

So far, I'm underwhelmed. If I had to pick any of these guys, I'd go with Michael Salamone, I think. The Denton County Transit Authority looks pretty impressive. Their web site rocks, at least. It almost seems as though First Transit was an outside management agency hired to run the DCTA. If anybody will be capable of progressing Greenville's transit toward rail transit, they look maybe to be the people to have.

And the winner is...

NONE OF THE ABOVE.

Call me crazy, but doesn't it seem that the person in charge of getting more cars into parking garages would have a conflict of interest as a result of also being in charge of public transit? :huh:

Edited by RestedTraveler

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Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. ?!? :dunno:

That, my good doctor, was almost my exact reaction as well. I read the headline and was excited at the prospect of knowing which of the three had been picked ... and then felt this overwhelming sense of being let down after reading the article.

Maybe being in charge of parking may also yield a park-and-ride service??? I can't think of any other link.

I hope you're right. The article *did* cite that she had several years of experience with transportation and parking logistics with FedEx, etc., so we'll hope for the best, I guess.

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That, my good doctor, was almost my exact reaction as well. I read the headline and was excited at the prospect of knowing which of the three had been picked ... and then felt this overwhelming sense of being let down after reading the article.

I hope you're right. The article *did* cite that she had several years of experience with transportation and parking logistics with FedEx, etc., so we'll hope for the best, I guess.

It was already announced that the prior finalists woul dnot be hired. To me this is an 'out of the box' type hire, yet still not a novice by any means. I'm hopeful. The scary thing to me is the rising fuel prices might eat up a lot of the 'savings' expected from city control.

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Thanks for the link to NTD. I look forward to exploring it later on when I have more time. That is funny that they don't include CAT. Which brings me to a question: CAT has "#1 in SC" on their screens, which I truly believe, but what would that be based on?

I think that they are number one in terms of "service" in that they have the smallest system in terms of mileage/coverage and still a high number of riders -- so, their passengers per route mile statistic would be quite high if it were available. And in all practicality, thats probably a more fair statistic to compare to other cities anyway.

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I think that they are number one in terms of "service" in that they have the smallest system in terms of mileage/coverage and still a high number of riders -- so, their passengers per route mile statistic would be quite high if it were available. And in all practicality, thats probably a more fair statistic to compare to other cities anyway.

Makes sense.

CAT is looking at expanding their service, yet again. Currently they are studying the possibility of expanding to serve both Walhalla and Westminster in Oconee County. Oconee County, the City of Seneca, the City of Walhalla, and the City of Westminster have all stepped in with funding. Approximately 120,000 people used CAT last year in the Seneca area alone. :shades: Whether it's possible to serve those areas or not is unknown, but it definitely looks good to me that all of those entities are embracing CAT. Greenville County Council needs to step up its game. Not to simply throw money at the bus service, but to increase funding AND impact the system's change. Being passive on the matter OR outrageous won't positively affect Greenlink.

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