Monday, the Transportation Policy and Planning Board met to discuss the Bus Rapid Transit system with planning manager David Trowbridge of the Department of Planning and Community and Economic Development.
According to the committee, BRT is a new bus system that promises faster transportation and is more environmentally friendly. Patrons will buy tickets at stations in an effort to reduce wait times on buses, and these tickets will remain the same price as those for non-BRT buses. The buses may be up to 60 feet long to accommodate more passengers.
The Department of Planning and Community and Economic Development surveyed 2,700 residents, to ask them what kinds of improvements they sought with the transit system.
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“[It was] not surprising what we heard from the community in terms of their concerns about the public transit system,” Trowbridge said. “They want it to be faster, they want it to be more frequent, they want it to have a longer span of service into the night.”
More than 120 people from the Madison area discussed and voted on metro concerns in the Madison East-West BRT Planning Study. Their comments included requests for more frequent service where University of Wisconsin students live, double bus frequency on home football days, level boarding for those with wheelchairs and bikes, and real-time arrivals.
In the future, Trowbridge’s department will use a traffic impact study to determine the amount of traffic that could be impacted by BRT.
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Trowbridge said the city could implement a new lane dedicated to the BRT system, but future research will determine the accessibility of this.
“We are in the process of looking at alternatives in the east-west corridor, [such as] different kinds of alignments [and] different station locations,” Trowbridge said.
The department will report back in April.