Council Approves Changes to CAT Bus Routes

By: Ruth Morton Email
By: Ruth Morton Email

July 1, 2013

Changes aiming to save you time and give you more destinations are coming to a couple of bus routes in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

Charlottesville City Council unanimously approved changes to Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) Routes 7 and 11.

11 will now travel directly from downtown to Fashion Square and will stop at CATEC. Albemarle County will pay for 46% of the cost of the plan.

Route 7 tends to run unreliably, sometimes resulting in bus stacking.

"Eventually, one bus leaving the transit center catches the other bus up so you've got two number sevens running right along nose to tail," explained John Jones, CAT manager, during the presentation of the route proposals.

In the new plan, the 7 will realign the route from the Corner to Jefferson Park Avenue.

People the Newsplex talked to were happy with the changes to the 11 but had mixed reviews on the 7.

"I think that it's great that it'll make it a faster trip time cause I've heard people talk quite a bit about how slow it is and how long it takes to get to through the Corner and all that so I think the proposals are very much needed and it will provide for a better customer experience and a better bus ride for everybody," said Nancy Carpenter after the presentation. Carpenter an Albemarle County resident who spoke during public comment.

"The 7, I'm happy to see that most of the main stops have been preserved. I am very concerned that the line now no longer serves University Avenue for safety and business reasons, so, I still do have concerns there and I hope they do look at that," said Adam Lees, a Charlottesville resident who had also spoken during public comment.

Jones explained that the free trolley will continue to service the Corner, and, when riders have a free option, they usually choose it, leaving the paid bus empty.

Lee appreciated the approach of CAT and Jones. "I really trust this new administrator. He's very proactive, very engaging. He really understands both the drivers and riders or atleast is making an attemp so I'm happy to see the direction they're going in. They're not just taking one of these studies and shelving it or wholeheartedly accepting it with no question," said Lees.

Both the new routes for 7 and 11 will begin on August 3 if the McCormick Avenue bridge construction finishes on time.

CAT has three public comment periods on July 8, 15, and 29 at 6 p.m. At City Space. For more information, visitthe CAT Facebook events page here.

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