Changes to Star Tran are Ruffling Feathers

March 29, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I haven’t had time to give the Transit Development Plan a close look, but clearly it is ruffling feathers among some riders. In particular, many people don’t like the new routes. I haven’t studied all of the routes in detail—I especially want to compare them to current routes—but I do like a few things that I see. For example, I like that most routes are “double-sided”, in the sense that they hit both the north and south sides of town. I also like that there are a couple “neighborhood routes” that don’t use the hub-and-spoke model Lincoln has relied on for so many years. (That’s not to say I like the chosen routes, just that I like the idea.)

I especially get a kick out of the fact that there is finally the possibility that Star Tran will revise the Downtown Star Shuttle route, and that they propose to add a Haymarket Shuttle on Thursday thru Saturday evenings. That idea was proposed years ago and quickly shot down by the folks at Star Tran. I even worked on a graduate class project back in 2002 or so in which we submitted similar proposals to the city. Our ideas were quickly brushed aside. In fact, many of the ideas we wanted to present in our final report were shot down by the city very early in the process, so we left them out. Oddly enough, some of those ideas show up in the current proposals. I’m not taking credit for that, mind you. It’s just interesting to see ideas that were once verboten become acceptable.

I’m sure once I dig in more deeply I’ll uncover more of the factors that are getting folks’ goats. But a lot of the buzz I have heard on the bus is relatively petty. Stuff like: “The bus won’t go right in front of my house any more, so now I’m going to have to walk two extra blocks!” and “I won’t be on the same route as you any more, so maybe I just won’t ride.” Still, there are lots of valid concerns out there. It will be interesting to watch this process unfold.

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The Comments

Karin March 29, 2007 at 6:54pm

From what I can see it’s good. I currently have 2 buses running within 10 minutes of each other in front of my house- while it’s convenient for me if I miss the first bus, it seems like a bit of a waste. This seems like it has more even coverage.

People are going to bitch no matter what, but changes need to be made in spite of it.

An additional thing I personally like is that Saturday routes don’t seem to change as drastically- currently, I can get downtown on Saturday, but I can’t get back home (without adding about 8 blocks to my walk) because the route is different.

I wonder how this will affect the bus I usually take? Everyone there seems to know each other, they bring food for everyone often and celebrate birthdays and retirements. It’s really kinda strange, but I like it.

Karin March 29, 2007 at 7:02pm

I just noticed that the proposed downtown shuttle will be free (the PDF says no fares) and will run till Midnight. Makes me wish I still lived near the capitol.

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