Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Long Range Bus Transit Plan for Riverside County

The future of RTA bus transit looks promising for West Riverside County.

Proposed: Short-Term (FY 17-19) Prioritized Service Improvements
Graphic: RTA Forward 10-Year Transit Plan
Note: Mid and longer-range proposed routes not pictured.

By: Nicholas Ventrone, Community Engagement Director
riversidetransit@gmail.com


Back in November 2012, the Riverside Transit Agency contracted with Transportation Management & Design to formulate a Comprehensive Operational Analysis which would serve as a long range blueprint for western Riverside County bus transit improvements between now and the next decade.

Last Thursday, the agency closed the official comment period and has released the COA dubbed Forward 10-Year Transit Plan.

The transit study includes recommendations for each RTA bus route, including service frequency and service span. The master plan focuses on improvements on service frequencies, improved connectivity options with timed transfers, better cross-regional connections, more late night bus service, shorten and streamlined travel trip times and improved amenities and infrastructure.

Back in October, The Transit Coalition submitted its comments to the 10-Year Network Plan. RTA did adopt some of our suggestions which were also addressed by the general public. Such requests include maintaining Metrolink station connectivity with Route 1 and finally connecting Lake Elsinore with Corona outside of rush hour.

Proposed RTA Route 1 bus routing
Regarding Route 1, all runs minus the proposed limited stop RapidLink runs are now proposed to stop at the planned Riverside Vine Street Transit Center with maintained connectivity at both of the Metrolink stations in Corona. A previous proposal called for this line to bypass all three train stations; RTA rightly rejected that ill-advised idea.

In addition, the plan calls for 10-minute all day weekday and 15 minute weekend service frequency for Route 1. That's on top of the proposed RapidLink service. The very frequent headways will likely offset some valid concerns regarding connectivity between the routes in Downtown Riverside and connecting trains at the primary transfer hub since the plan calls for a more grid-based routing design for the bus routes. I'll analyze the downtown transit station master plan once more as Forward includes some updates on the Vine Street Riverside Transit Center.

I will be paging through this 215 page report to see what other important improvements RTA has planned and will incorporate them into the Coalition's Future Vision of Mass Transit. I will say it does address a number of Coalition campaigns and projects which I will continue to promote until the day such upgrades become operational and land in the RTA Ride Guide.

So, stay behind the yellow line and buckle up for discussions and debates on the planned improvements.

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