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Let’s Go! System Redesign concludes Phase 1
Posted on April 2, 2019
Check out LETSGO.CATCHACAT.ORG for the most current information
The first of three phases for Chatham Area Transit’s Let’s Go! Designing Better Transit Together initiative is now complete and results of the first phase were recently shared with the CAT Board of Directors.
Phase 1 focused on The Transit Choices Report, which describes existing conditions and trade-offs that arise in the Chatham County transit network, and a set of choices facing CAT as it decides how to spend its limited service budget in the future.
These choices were brought to the public, through different forums, including a Stakeholder Committee, community open house, group meetings presentations, and a community survey. The Phase 1 survey was completed by over 600 individuals representing a diverse cross-section of the community.
“The first phase of Let’s Go! was a great success, as we were able to hear from many individuals and organizations throughout the community,” CAT CEO and Executive Director Curtis Koleber said. “We are looking forward to continuing these conversations in more depth as we move into this next phase in which we will share two vastly different preliminary Network Concepts and seek input from the public.”
- Serve more riders or cover more areas? Most people want their transit agency to provide useful service that many people ride and they want their transit agency to cover the entire service area so everyone has access to at least a little service. Few people realize that the more an agency does of one, the less it can afford to do of the other. The responses received reveal a slightly higher preference towards higher ridership, although this abstract trade-off will become much more concrete in Phase 2, when future Network Concepts illustrating these contrasting goals are presented.
- A shorter walk or a shorter wait? This question is largely about personal preferences more so than transit system policy. In general, more people preferred a shorter wait.
- Investment priorities: People were asked to show CAT how they would invest any new funding for transit. “Making service more reliable” and “Higher frequency service” were by far the most supported type of investment. Overall, the results are similar to the results from the web and print surveys, with respect to the lower priority most people placed on nighttime, Saturday and Sunday service.
During Phase 2’s Let’s Go! initiative, CAT will present two contrasting Network Concepts, reflecting the tradeoff between high frequency service and wide network coverage.
Phase 2 outreach will begin in mid-April, with the kickoff on April 11, 2019, at the Coastal Georgia Center from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided, and a presentation of the Concepts will begin at 5:30 p.m.
The Let’s Go! Designing Better Transit Together system redesign project will rely heavily on input from the community. The project is anticipated to conclude at the end of 2019. More information is available at letsgo.catchacat.org.
Let’s Go! Designing Better Transit Together will result in an overhaul of CAT’s fixed-route bus network, based on technical analysis, best practices, and input from the community. The 18-month comprehensive redesign effort is a first for CAT, which has many bus routes that have not been changed in decades despite the changing and growing community. The consultant team is led by Jarrett Walker + Associates, an international transit planning firm based in Portland, Oregon, with assistance from Symbioscity, an urban planning firm based in Savannah.