The East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission is leading the charge in collecting feedback on proposed Valley Transit route changes.
Nick Musson, principal planner – transportation for the ECWRPC, says transit agencies create a transit development plan every five years, but Valley Transit is proposing changes of a greater magnitude than what is typical.
“Valley Transit really wanted to evaluate their entire system and come up with more efficiency, better connectivity. Basically, they kind of wanted to wipe the slate clean,” he says.
The organization hired SRF Consulting to evaluate Valley Transit’s fixed route system and provide recommendations to improve on-time performance, efficiency and connectivity. It came back with proposals that ranged from minor route modifications to the addition of new routes.
Short-term recommendations include frequency enhancements for popular routes, some minor route modifications and extension of Route 4 to Meijer in Grand Chute. Intermediate recommendations include restructuring of Valley Transit’s north service area, adding crosstown service and restructuring the popular Route 15.
Long-term proposals call for adding two new routes. Route 55 would provide fast, direct service between down Appleton and Kaukauna via College Avenue, including Kimberly High School and the Heart of the Valley YMCA. Route 60 would provide supplementary crosstown service between downtown Appleton and the Fox River Mall via Wisconsin Avenue, creating additional transfer connections. Trips also could be extended to Appleton International Airport.
Musson says the short-term recommendations would come at little to no cost, but intermediate and long-term recommendations would require considerable funding, meaning municipalities would need to agree to contributing.
No-cost changes could be implemented fairly quickly, Musson says, while intermediate recommendations could take three to five years to put in place and adding routes 55 and 60 could take five to 10 years.
While the proposals are aimed at improving the experience for current riders, they’re also geared toward appealing to a new set of riders and providing an alternative to people’s vehicles, Musson says. ECWRPC also wants to provide better connectivity throughout Northeast Wisconsin to make it easier for people to travel to and from work.
“We’re trying to keep improving on these systems to attract more people and provide a better service overall,” Musson says.
To ensure it’s meeting the needs of all stakeholders, the ECWRPC is seeking feedback on the proposed changes. Musson says the organization would like to hear from everyone from riders to employers. To learn more about the new routes and provide feedback by Nov. 15, please visit https://experience.arcgis.com/stemapp/ccb6c630234e4d018014ef59970d2822.