October 7, 2009 Small group questions StarMetro about future By TaMaryn Waters DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER A small group of residents unloaded questions stitched with curiosity and concern Tuesday during a listening session on StarMetro's proposal to upgrade the current bus system. They asked questions such as, How will the city educate people with disabilities about the mound of changes? What will the bus schedule be? How many buses will be on each route? How many transfers will I have to take? The proposal, commonly called Nova 2010, is still in the works, so some details are not firm, said Andrea Rosser, a StarMetro planner, during the listening session at City Hall. The goals are to reduce the need to transfer at C.K. Steele Plaza, increase how often buses come to a stop and provide service in areas currently lacking bus stops, such as Magnolia Drive and Orange Avenue. The plan currently identifies 11 routes, half of them high-frequency routes. Ten of those routes were changed based on previous feedback from residents. "It's got to respond to a real person's daily life," Beth Hollister, a resident of Myers Park, said of the changes. She doesn't ride the bus now, but she would if it were more convenient. She said the current proposal primarily focuses on getting from Point A to Point B, such as from going from home to work. Hollister said the plan needs to show how a rider can access other places. Rosser said the current plan would provide five to 13 places to transfer. Another concern was how some residents will need to walk further to get to a bus stop, even though more buses will serve it. Others were concerned with the end of bus service to Governor's Square mall. The new plan would put a stop on Governor's Square Boulevard, which could make traveling profoundly difficult for people with disabilities if they are not dropped off closer to the mall. Rosser said the questions were valuable to the planning process. More than 100 listening sessions, which will include law enforcement and specialty groups, are slated before a firm plan is presented to the City Commission in February. She said. "No system is perfect, but the one we have now is a dinosaur." Additional Facts Upcoming Public listening sessions: Thursday - From 7 to 8 p.m., Atkins Building, Koger Office Center, 1320 Executive Center Drive. Oct. 14 - From 5:30 to 7 p.m., Leroy Collins Public Library, 200 West Park Ave. Oct. 22 - From 5:30 to 7 p.m, Northeast Branch Library, 5513 Thomasville Road. Oct. 27 - From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5:30 to 7 p.m., B.L. Perry Jr. Branch Library, 2817 South Adams St. Check out the TABI resource web page at http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI and please make suggestions for new material. if you'd like to unsubscribe you can do so through the freelists.org web interface, or by sending an email to the address tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject.