[tabi] Re: nova2010 and lack of nights/weekend service

  • From: "Barbara Lineberry" <bkblpp@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2010 23:27:43 -0400

This is quite a letter that took quite a while to read. The sentence that made the most sense to me said that the plan was made by people who don't ride the bus or that have other transit options. And this has been stated by many on TABI many times. These concerns have been stated before on this list. One hopes that a change will eventually happen making riding the bus a feasible option for those who must depend on it, but it seems to be taking forever.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2010 5:13 PM
Subject: [tabi] nova2010 and lack of nights/weekend service

I've been asked to publish the letter below; it's from a citizen to Mr.
Garrison at StarMetro, and details her thoughts on the Nova2010 plan and
it's apparent lack of service for nights and weekends:

Dear Mr. Garrison,
One of the main selling points of the Nova2010 plan was increased
service to riders
on nights and weekends. In fact, according to the original information
about Nova 2010, the night and weekend service was supposed to be very
close to
the service provided during the week only with slightly different hours.
But this
appears not to be the outcome. The Nova2010 plan won't provide the same
service at
night and on weekends as it does during the week. This is bait and
switch of the
worst sort. Now that the information about the actual Saturday, Sunday
and night
routes has been made public, it is obvious that a lack of service will
Even with the proposed routes now posted, there is still the lack of a
that enables riders to fully evaluate the routes. Since Nova2010 is
making use of
independent routes without timed transfers and only lists possible
transfer points,
discussion of the changes is even more important. Riders will no longer
be able
to depend on the fact that they can make their connecting routes on
time. This can
lengthen and not lower transit time if they miss the next available
possible transfer
point that they need. At the very least, a customer service phone should
be available
at all hours of operation to deal with route problems such as missed
There hasn't been adequate input from the public regarding change s to
the night
and weekend routes. At the very least, these proposed changes need to be
to the public through listening sessions in order to both inform the
public and obtain
feedback. These sessions are called for to obtain input about the impact
of these
route changes on current riders. This has been done in the past even
when minor
changes were proposed . These listening sessions should occur before any
vote is
taken to approve this plan as written.
The night and weekend routes weren't detailed at the earlier listening
so that feedback regarding these routes could be obtained and discussed.
At the early
listening sessions, the claim was that the night and weekend routes
would be the
same as weekday routes only the hours of service weren't known yet. Then
at the later
listening sessions, it was claimed that only some reduction in service
would occur
during the night and weekend routes. It was just said that the service
would be somewhat
less and not go to some of the places such as the offices at Southwood.
For example, the Saturday route (Tall Timbers) would require minimum of
two transfers
to go closer to Governor's Square Mall than Magnoli a Drive. This
currently requires
one transfer at the Plaza for each trip. The travel time could be
problematic because
it makes the assumption that the transfer connections can be made in a
timely manner.
Since However, missing one bus connection could mean a wait at a stop of
30 minutes
or more. Missing a second transfer connection could add an additional 20
to 40 minutes
to the trip. A trip could easily take up to an hour more than currently.
This plays
havoc with a person who has to get to work on time and could cause them
to lose their
job. These changes will not in fact make transit travel easier for
citizens to commute
to work, shop and reach recreation destinations for those who must do so
on weekends.
Another problem with the Saturday schedule for people in the Jackson
Bluff area
would be reaching Tennessee Street in an efficient manner. Since no
connection would
exist between Appleyard and Tennessee, the proposed rout es would
require two transfers
to reach any location on Tennessee Street. Reaching Tennessee Street
would require
changing to another bus that would then connect with Tennessee Street
closer to
the center of town. This concerns me because of the number and types of
in this area, in particular drug and grocery stores that are needed by
people. In
fact, it will require a transfer just for the people from this area to
reach downtown
The Sunday and night route (N-3) would require minimum of two transfers
to go closer
to Governor's Square Mall than Magnolia Drive. The same transfer
problems could occur
on Sunday or at night only with slightly different wait periods. This
doesn't require a transf er at all for that trip. In addition, the same
with reaching Tenn essee Street exist with the Sunday and night routes
as occur with
the Saturday routes and a transfer is still required to reach the
downtown area.
The Nova2010 plan makes it more difficult for people from the Jackson
Bluff area
to reach the local hospitals, even during the week. The number of
transfers would
increase from one to two in a number of cases. Travel to Tallahassee
Memorial Hospital
and Capital Regional Medical Center would require two transfers on the
weekday route
schedule. It would be possible to get close to TMH on Saturdays with
only one transfer
but CRMC would still require two transfers to get closer to the hospital
than Capital
Circle. The night and Sunday routes would work the same for TMH but
still don 't
provide any service at all to CRMC. Part of this transfer problem could
be solved
if service still existed on Miccosukee Road between the Plaza and TMH as
it does
now with the existing Route 4. This would also provide better service to
the schools
in the area.
Even the weekday routes lack adequate service to the City Hall area of
In addition to City Hall, the downtown area includes such state of fices
as the Florida
Supreme Court, the Division of Elections, the State Archives of Florida,
the Museum
of Florida History, and the office of the Secretary of State. The lack
of route service
to this area also makes it harder for people using the park-and-ride
from north of
Tallahassee to reach destinations in Tallahassee. One item that appears
not to be
taken into consideration is the fact that riders don't always get back
on the same
bus. Why continue on a southbound route in the evenings, if you are
going north?
One gentleman I know gets off on Bronough but gets back on Duval.
Therefore you can
not assume a southbound route is not useful if you don't have as many
pickups at
a site. He informed me that he may not take the bus anymore if the
convenience factor
of the routes is eliminated. I thought one goal was also to keep traffic
down in
the downtown area. In effect, you may be doing just the opposite.
Keeping people
out of the downtown area hardly seems consistant with the goal of a
creat ing a vibrant
downtown area.
A second claim of increased bus frequencies isn't true for everyone.
Some areas
will have longer waits than before. As an example, riders using the
Forest Route
will have their bus wait times increase from 30 mi nutes to 40 minutes.
And to make
the schedule more confusing, there will be peak frequency times and
off-peak frequency
times for most of the weekday routes. This will make it even harder for
riders to
remember when a certain bus should arrive at a transfer point.
A lack of bus transfers would increase trip cost for riders. As stated
on page 70
of your report (
) the planning division recommends the elimination of free transfers.
For a trip
that now requires two bus changes each way, without the use of
transfers, the current
full fare cost would rise to $7.50 for a round trip instead of the
current cost
of $2.50 for a round trip, unless unlimited passes were purchased. This
would place
a hardship on most of your riders. Unlesss fares are reduced
considerably, it will still cost the average rider more per trip. If
fares are reduced to ease the burden
on riders, then the fare for dial-a-ride by law would have to be reduced
those fares can only be two times the regular bus fair . The transfer
table examples
that are supposed to demonstrate a reduction in bus transfers don't take
nights and
weekends into account at all. If fact they aren't true to how many
people ride the
bus. These tables only work if people board at certain specific
The Nova2010 plan has largely been designed by people who don't ride the
bus on a
regular basis or by people who have other transit options. It hasn't
fully taken
into account the needs of the current ri dership. I would hope that you
would suggest
to all in City Hall to ride the bus now and then looking at how these
routes may
change before taking any action. You may just need to expose more people
to the great
existing service to get the same results, increased ridership and fewer
cars on the road.
The Nova2010 plan as proposed will result in an inequitable distribution
of resources
that removes service from current riders in an attempt to in crease
service to other
areas. One way to help provide resources to maintain the current level
of services
would be to increase the headway on West Tennessee to once every 20
minutes during
the week. Any route increases in currently unserved areas shouldn't be
at the expense
of those who have come to depend on this service to meet a variety of
needs including employment, medical and recreational opportunities.
Thank you for taking the time to read my concerns and those of others I
have spoken
with. I would be willing to talk to someone in leadership and discuss my
now that I have seen the whole plan. Though well intended, the "revised"
may have some unintended consequences that you hadn't planned for and
will be detrimental
to serving both current and future riders.
Linda Pulliam
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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.

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