Springfield, IL – The Springfield Mass Transit District (SMTD) Board of Trustees approved a plan July 27th to study bus stops throughout the SMTD system, make proposals for adding or removing bus stops, take public comment and implement changes over the next eighteen months. As of March, SMTD has completed optimization along four routes, and is entering the public comment phase on its fifth route.
“Route 7 is the fifth route we have addressed so far, and we plan to shake things up a little by taking public comment online this time,” said Steve Schoeffel, SMTD’s Service Planning and Marketing Specialist. “Because turnout at our previous public comment sessions has been low, we are rolling out online public comment this time to see how the public responds. Previously, there was no formal presentation, and staff just did question and answer periods with anyone that asked questions. This time, more information is available via our website, and the public can fill out an electronic form with any questions or concerns they might have.”
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 actually changed. SMTD believes the changes will still serve the public well with plenty of remaining bus stops while allowing buses to cover routes faster with fewer stops made so close together – sometimes fewer than two hundred feet apart.
“The goal of SMTD’s Bus Stop Optimization Plan is to provide balance between on-time service and convenient pedestrian access to bus stops,” Schoeffel added. “Through a route-by-route analysis, review and implementation schedule, we plan to complete this project in late 2017, and our hope is to upgrade all bus stop signs system-wide once the project is finished.”
Route 7 West Washington travels west along Adams then Washington past Springfield and Sacred Heart Griffin high schools, Fairhills Mall and a number of retirement homes and apartment complexes. Turning south onto Durkin Drive, the route continues to Monroe and Old Jacksonville Road, Koke Mill, West Iles, White Oaks Mall, West White Oaks Drive and to Parkway Pointe and back. The ninety-minute route runs every thirty minutes during peak times on weekdays and every hour off-peak and on Saturdays.
Schoeffel noted that, so far, along the four routes already completed, there have been virtually no complaints. “SMTD does our best to inconvenience as few of our passengers as possible while making these changes that we believe ultimately benefit everyone with more reliable, on-time service.”