DTA Announces Bus Stop Balancing Initiative and Needs Your Input
Duluth Transit Authority (DTA) Announces Bus Stop Balancing Initiative and Needs Your Input
The DTA announced the launch of the Bus Stop Balancing initiative as part of the Better DTA Movement designed to create meaningful positive change to the transit system in the Twin Ports. The DTA is looking for public feedback on its proposed consolidation of bus stops throughout its service area.
Through past community engagement, the organization learned of a strong desire for improvements to travel times and bus stops. DTA Director of Planning and Grants, Chris Belden noted “People want to get from A to B more quickly with less interruptions. They also want their bus stops to be more pleasant and accessible.” To accomplish this, the DTA is proposing to balance its bus stop spacing to make service more efficient while preserving access.” Having stops too close together and stopping frequently in short distances can cause several issues including slow travel times, deviation from schedules, wear and tear on the buses, increased emissions, safety risks of merging in and out of traffic, and more. Cleaning, maintenance, and improvements at bus stops are also considerations.
DTA General Manager Rod Fournier said, “By having fewer, more strategically placed bus stops, the DTA can make even more meaningful investments to improve rider experience better.” After the new stop locations are set, the DTA plans to invest over $2 million to improve bus stops over the next several years.
In 2019, the DTA Board of Directors approved a Bus Stop Policy that set a direction for spacing and amenity improvements. For spacing, the policy states, “Bus stops should be spaced close enough together so that people can reach them easily, but far enough apart so that the bus is not continually stopping and starting, making the trip excessively slow. The DTA shall consider the balance between speed (riding time) and passenger access convenience (walking distance to bus stop) when locating bus stops. Extra consideration should be given to winter conditions and their impact on access to stops. Generally, bus stops should be spaced every 1/8 to 1/4 mile (660 to 1320 ft.) (4-8 stops a mile). The DTA will make exceptions when unique circumstances exist. Considerations for exceptions may be made for, but are not limited to, the following reasons: the slope of a street (greater than 6%); major trip generators close in distance; nearby multi-family senior or disabled residences; safety issues; proximity to schools, services, and grocery stores; transfer points; and others as determined by staff and transit best practice guidance.”
The DTA is seeking feedback on the proposed bus stop changes and is accepting comments until December 15th. Signs at bus stops proposed for relocation/consolidation have been posted. People are encouraged to visit https://www.duluthtransit.com/home/better-dta/better-bus-stops/ to learn more about the project, view the plan via an interactive map, and take the survey. The new stops will be incorporated into the Better Bus Blueprint and will go into effect simultaneously with the DTA’s new bus network Summer of 2022. The DTA’s new “Go Line” routes will have limited stops for an even faster service and are shown on the interactive map as well. Those stops will have service every 15 minutes for most of the day and be uniquely branded. www.DuluthTransit.com