Pocatello Regional Transit held an open house Wednesday night to get public opinion on three proposals they came up with.
The department says the biggest change riders can see is fewer stops with more direct routes to different locations in the Pocatello and Chubbuck areas.
“The biggest changes in the proposals, is currently the routes run in a circular route. There’s two that they go bi-directional on the same circular route. This would be bi-directional on the same route, so they would run up Yellowstone, and then for example come back down Yellowstone on the same route,” Mori Byington tells Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3, “They would run up Yellowstone, for example, and then back down Yellowstone on the same route, instead of going up Yellowstone and down pole line, like some of them do now.”
Byington says this is a project they’ve been working on since last year.
“So we’re looking at how we can change transit services in the next 20 to 30 years, from what we have today,” says Byington, “So what got us here is last year we started this process and through public involvement and analysis and these are the recommendations of them.”
The department is looking at groups that are transit dependent, for example, elderly people, people without cars, lower income, university students.
They department is also looking at how to better serve people and get more choice riders. How to make it easier for people to have a choice.
The three proposals that are created are a cost neutral proposal, one if the department lost 10 percent of their budget and one if they gained a lot of money.
The idea behind the three proposals is the future outlook depending on the funding and to already have a plan in place.
Byington says that it should not cost anything more than outreach.
He says that the plans have been received very well by the community, and the only concerns are how can people get there faster, more service on the weekends.
“Those are questions that we’ve solved, or provided answers to,” says Byington.
At the meeting there was a question about bigger buses for the routes, Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness news 3 was told that is an issue constantly being looked at.
“With the new technology and the new systems we ask, what is the best bus value that will get us the longest term so that we can provide the less cost service,” he says, “if there is a bus out there that would last 20 years that is half the size, that is definitely something we would look at.”
To limit the wear and tear on certain buses, Byington says they will move smaller buses to places that don’t stop as much or do not have as much traffic.
The department plans on taking the comments and finalizing the three plans, and presenting them to both the City of Pocatello and City of Chubbuck.
The projects may not start until the Fall of 2019.
If you would like to see the proposals, click here: http://pocatellotransit.com/transit-master-plan