Asheville Transit Survey
Posted by eemilla on January 13, 2009
Thanks to Sherry for the survey heads up! Please take the time to take the survey being put out by the Asheville Transit System. Even if you don’t currently use the system, they would like know why you don’t use the system. The survey is short, so I decided to elaborate on my answers below.
In order for transit to be more of an option in our one car household’s transportation plan, we need more sidewalks, more frequent service, which would include Sunday and evening service, and more shelters. Sunday service is the most pressing need. How can using transit be a transportation plan if it doesn’t run an entire day of the week? Another frustration is the time it takes to use the system; although by car I am about a ten to fifteen minute drive to downtown; if use transit I have a twenty minute walk followed by a twenty-five or so minute ride. Sidewalks would be great as they might provide some reprieve from the mud holes at the two closest stops (adding a bench with a trashcan would be even better, but the best would be a covered shelter with the sidewalks, bench, and trashcan).
The best thing about the transit system is the fare; if you purchase the ticket book, you end up paying less than sixty-five cents a ride. Even without a pass or ticket, the one dollar fare is less than what it would likely cost you to park the car downtown. I have heard discussion about the fare boxes being updated to accept credit/debit cards. I believe it would be better to make the passes and tickets refillable scan cards; the cards could reduce the waste of paper tickets and passes, and the scan cards would work for the employee sponsored cards (thus relieving the drivers from having to remember the plethora of passes).
While I would like to see a route down Long Shoals Rd to the Biltmore Park movie theatre and the Y as well as service to all the parks, especially the Arboretum, I feel it is more important to improve the existing routes and build more relationships with employers like Warren Wilson and Sonopress to expand the service area. It would be great if the hotels would partner with the transit system to offer passes to their guests in lieu of the shuttle services most hotels offer, and I don’t see why downtown businesses would partner with the hotels to try to bring more people downtown without having to worry about parking. Before another parking deck is built, the city, county, and other players should create park and ride locations then increase the parking rates in the public decks to encourage the use of the park and ride lots.
If the survey isn’t enough, do be sure to attend the public meeting, 22 January 2009, at the Civic Center from 4-7. I would ride the bus down, but the last number six bus leaves downtown at 5:30.