Fewer Routes, Faster Service, No Connecting Points: Madison’s Bus Rapid Transit promises big changes | Local government


“With a fixed budget, we have to balance frequency with coverage,” Lynch said. “Service will be reduced or eliminated for a small number of people in areas that are very difficult to serve, but it will be dramatically improved for the vast majority of people, including the vast majority of people of color.”

The new network could concentrate most bus services on just seven or eight routes, providing direct service between many people, jobs and opportunities while eliminating the need for transfer points, officials said.

“The transfer points allowed for more coverage, but they were problematic,” Lynch said. “They introduced delays on most trips that had to go through a transfer point. Since the user network has fewer routes, it will be rare for more than two routes to intersect at a point, reducing the need for transfer points.

A bus stop in front of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in the 200 block of State Street. An eastbound BRT stop would be located near the museum.


Bus advocates still have questions.

“Will the transfers take place in safe and convenient locations? Will there be shelters and good boarding platforms? Will the times be synchronized to ensure a fast connection even in poor conditions? Mertzig asked.

The average city resident could reach 51,000 jobs in 45 minutes by bus and on foot, a 112% jump over the existing network, the study found. The average person of color could achieve 47,000 jobs, an increase of 120%, and the average low-income person 103,000 jobs, an increase of 28%. The percentages are all much higher than for the hedging option, he says.


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