December 28, 2013
The Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) is making some changes to their old bus routes. A study conducted last year showed that the routes were inefficient and slow.
“The routes are going to be able to operate quicker, more efficiently, and with fewer stops on the way they can get people that are on the bus already where they need to go faster,” says CAT Marketing Coordinator Westley Kern.
Several people sat in on the informational meeting Saturday morning held at City Space along the Downtown Mall to listen to the bus changes, but not all of them were happy with the new routes.
“I don't ride the bus that much but my neighbors do and they are elderly and several disabled who will find it very difficult to walk another quarter of a mile to a bus stop that is still there versus one that is removed that is much closer,” says Pat Lloyd, a Charlottesville resident.
“They didn't look at the bottom line,” says Samuel Bennett, another Charlottesville resident. “They didn't look at the people that are affected they didn't look at the jobs people might end up losing because they don't have that transportation to get to work on time.”
Many people in the session don't believe that their voices were heard before these changes were made, despite several public meetings that were held before changes were finalized.
Charlottesville City Council approved the new routes on August 19th of this year and council members believe that the changes are needed.
“Overall the changes are going to be positive for more people than they're negative for, but there are still some people who are going to lose their bus route, lose their bus stop, have to walk further, have difficulty getting to a late shift,” says Kristin Szakos, City Council Member. “So those are things that we are aware of and it's going to be hard.”
“There are quite a few changes in there and it will take some getting used to, but I think once things start to settle down and people really get to experience it and start to use it, they will like it,” Kern explains.
The only routes that won't see major changes are Route 5 and Route 11. These changes go into effect on January 4th and for a complete list of route changes you can click on the link under the picture.