The Springfield Mass Transit District (SMTD) Board of Trustees approved a plan July 27th to study bus stops on routes throughout the SMTD system, make proposals for consolidating bus stops, take public comment and implement changes over the next eighteen months. On August 5th at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM in the Carnegie Room South at Lincoln Library (southwest corner of the 1st floor), the first public comment meeting will be held regarding proposed bus stop consolidation on the North 5th Route 1 and North 9th Route 2.
“Over the years, SMTD has continued to add bus stops throughout the city for various purposes, and we have now reached the point that we have considerable overlap of the areas meant to be covered by a bus stop,” said Steve Schoeffel, SMTD’s Service Planning and Marketing Specialist. “We are looking to methodically study and update our system’s bus stops to move us closer to widely-accepted industry standards.”
SMTD believes the changes will still serve the public well with plenty of bus stops while allowing buses to cover routes faster with fewer stops made so close together – sometimes fewer than two hundred feet apart.
“Mass transit systems have to balance how quickly we can move people to their destinations with how far they must walk to reach their nearest bus stop,” Schoeffel continued. “A bus stop on every corner sounds great until you’re riding the bus and trying to make your transfer downtown in a bus that stops almost every block.”
This public comment part of the overall plan, while not legally required, is intended to give the public the opportunity to bring any specific concerns they might have to SMTD before bus stops are changed.
“We are not randomly removing every other bus stop, or anything close to that,” Schoeffel added. “We believe we can study our current stops, make some changes with the public’s input, and improve the system for our passengers and for traffic in general. Our goal would be to upgrade the actual bus stop signs once we have completed the optimization process across the entire system.”