Passengers scrutinize new bus routes in meetings

Passengers scrutinize new bus routes in meetings
November 17
09:00 2016



The Winston-Salem Transit Authority held its first meetings last week to answer passenger questions on the new bus routes that go into effect on Jan. 2, 2017.

WSTA is in the midst of the biggest overhaul of bus routes in its history, with 30 newly drawn routes and more than a 1,000 bus stops. The new system does not require passengers to ride to the Clark Campbell Transportation Center to transfer, which most of the current routes now require. Night routes have been doubled and the overall amount of routes has also been increased. Transfers are still free, and bus fare is still only a dollar.

The first meeting was held at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 11. WSTA’s Tina Carson-Wilkins presented a quick overview of the new routes. She also went over the green signs that will be at the new bus stops with all the information needed to check on a bus’ arrival time and destinations via text, phone call or online. After that, WSTA staff personally worked with each of the four passengers in attendance on their questions about the routes they use.

One of the passengers was Leo Burton, who is blind and relies on the bus and Trans-AID to get around. At first, the new routes would’ve eliminated his bus stop and made him walk further to get to the bus. After voicing his concerns in one of the many comment meetings on the new routes earlier in the year, his bus stop was preserved. However, the changes in routes will have him dropped off a few houses down from where he lives on the return trip.

“That’s a change, but it ain’t no problem,” Burton said.

Another passenger was DJ Murphy, who’s been riding the bus his whole life. He’s studied the new routes and though some of them are a little farther away from where he lives, he felt that overall the streamlined rides and extensive routes will please passengers. He said he found the new routes to be intuitive.

“This system is very easy. It’s not confusing,” he said.

Murphy did find an issue in some of the routes. He noticed Saturday routes that connect with a bus that goes to Hanes Mall and local hospitals in the morning starts too late for passengers who ride it to work in the morning. Carson-Wilkins thanked him for finding a flaw in the routes they had missed and said WSTA would get to work fixing it.

For a list of the remaining bus route meetings, see the WSTA’s ad in this week’s Chronicle.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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