Metro will run many of its buses more frequently and later into the night on streamlined routes.
In response to feedback received through a recently conducted survey, Metro Transit is making changes to some of its routes and extending its service schedule. The top requests were for more service on weekends, service extended later into the evening, and more frequent service on weekdays.
The changes proposed by Metro address all three of these desires. For example, Route 2 (which runs down Dodge Street) will now run every 15 minutes on weekdays until 7:00 PM. After that, it will run every 30 minutes until nearly 12:45 AM. On weekends, it will run every 30 minutes until nearly 11:45 PM on Saturdays and 9:45 PM on Sundays. Check out all the proposed changes at Metro’s website.
The new schedule adds several hours of service each day and increases frequency quite a bit on many of the routes, which is all great. The new service should much better support people that don’t work on the nine-to-five schedule as well as people traveling for reasons other than work. And, while the improved frequencies aren’t quite at the point where a person doesn’t need to check the schedule before heading out to the bus stop, they are getting better.
Regrettably, we don’t pay Metro nearly enough to make these improvements without making changes elsewhere in the system to balance its budget. We support Metro at $36 per capita compared with a median of $56 per capita for similar sized cities. We’ve got to do better than that.
Fortunately, however, the smart folks over at Metro have been able to free up most of the cash to make the improvements by streamlining some of the routes rather than making huge slashes. So, instead of using some of the very windy routes that define much of our transit system today, Metro will focus on providing more direct service along major roads. While the streamlining will give some people a longer walk to their bus stop, it will shorten other people’s walks while making the overall system much more straightforward and easy to understand.
ModeShift supports Metro with these changes for the reasons noted above and applauds the agency for working to make changes requested by the public within its very limited budget.
If you want to speak out in favor or in opposition to the changes, you can do so in any of the following ways:
- Attend the public hearing on Wednesday, December 17th, 5:30 – 8:00pm at the Omaha-Douglas County Civic Center,1819 Farnam Street
- Mail a letter to Metro at Metro PH, 2222 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68102
- Submit an online comment here.
Comments must be received by December 31st.