DTA seeks input on proposed route changesProposed route and schedule changes that could affect Duluth Transit Authority bus riders beginning Sept. 1 are the topic of a public hearing Wednesday.
By: Steve Kuchera, Duluth News Tribune
Proposed route and schedule changes that could affect Duluth Transit Authority bus riders beginning Sept. 1 are the topic of a public hearing Wednesday.
Proposed changes include reductions in service on Routes 20, 15c, 14 and 4. They travel to the airpark, United Health Care and Miller Hill Mall in Duluth Heights and the Ramsey--Raleigh areas of West Duluth. Other routes cover some of those areas.
The reduction in service is prompted by changes in federal aid, said Jim Heilig, DTA director of administration and planning.
A new federal funding formula “is based on population and population density, and Duluth doesn’t fare too well under that case because of the open space we have,” Heilig said. “We had to look at ways to reduce our costs while minimally hurting ridership.”
Federal money comprises about $1.2 million of the DTA’s annual $12.7 million budget. Under the new formula, the DTA will receive about $80,000 more overall, but it loses more than $600,000 in federal money earmarked for specific programs, including the Route 20 buses from downtown to businesses on top of the hill. Without that subsidy, eliminating the route is one of the cost-saving measures the DTA is considering.
“On a daily basis we are only carrying about 40 people (on the route), and about a third of those have alternatives,” Heilig said.
Other reductions in services are on trips with low rider numbers, Heilig said. Nearly 3.3 million riders used the DTA last year.
In designing the proposed changes, the DTA gathered input via rider surveys.
Wednesday’s public meeting begins at 3 p.m. on the second floor at the DTA Operations Center at 2402 W. Michigan St.
Final review of the changes will take place at a special DTA board meeting tentatively scheduled for Aug. 7. If approved, the changes will take place on Sept. 1. The DTA will reprint its hand schedules and rider maps displayed at bus stops and transit center. Online scheduled would also be updated.
The proposed changes include:
Weekday Route 1 West Mainline/Zoo trip departing the Holiday Center at 3:10 p.m. will leave at 3:20 p.m.
The weekday Route 3 Proctor trips departing the Holiday Center at 3:15 p.m. will leave 10 minutes sooner; those departing at 3:40 and 4:27 p.m. will leave 10 minutes later.
Weekday Route 2 New Duluth trips after 6 p.m. to depart from the Holiday Center Transit stop at 20 minutes after each hour. Last trip departs at 12:20 p.m.
Weekday Route 1 West Mainline/Zoo trips at 8:40 and 9:40 p.m. will leave 10 minutes later.
Weekday Route 2 New Duluth trips between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. to depart New Duluth at 12 minutes after the hour. Trips after 11 p.m. will depart on the hour. Last trip will depart at 1 a.m.
The weekday Route 4 departing the Holiday Center Stop at 6:20 p.m., and the trip departing Raleigh Street and 62nd Avenue West at 6:52 p.m. will be eliminated.
Weekday Route 6 trips to depart UMD inbound on the hour after 7 p.m.
Weekday Route 6 trips departing the Transit Center at 7:10 p.m. to change to 7:15 p.m.; 8:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and 9:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Weekday Route 6 trips departing UMD at 3:06 p.m. to change to 2:56 p.m.; 6:32 p.m. to 6:40 p.m.; 6:52 p.m. to 7 p.m.; 7:32 p.m. trip eliminated; 7:49 p.m. to 8 p.m.; 8:35 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and 9:35 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday Route 6 trips departing the Transit Center at 11:45 a.m. to change to 11:35 a.m.
Weekday Route 7 trips departing the Transit Center at 2:35, 5:10, 7:40 and 8:40 p.m. will all leave 10 minutes later. Route 7A trips leaving at 9:40 and 10:40 p.m. will leave 10 minutes later.
Weekday Route 7 trips departing Lakeside at 2:55, 5:30, 8:20 and 9:20 p.m. will leave 10 minutes later. Inbound Route 7A trip departing at 9:52 p.m. will change to 10:01 p.m.; the 10:51 p.m. trip will change to 11:01 p.m.
All weekday Piedmont trips with layovers at Piedmont Avenue and Morris Thomas in the morning and Piedmont and Decker Road in the afternoon and evenings will begin taking layovers at the Piedmont Park and Ride.
Trips from downtown will depart at their currently scheduled times, terminating at Piedmont Park and Ride.
Trips to downtown will depart the Piedmont Park and Ride and arrive downtown at the Transit Center at the currently scheduled times except the 7:10 p.m. trip, which will arrive downtown at 7:15 p.m., and the 8:10 p.m., which will arrive downtown at 8:20 p.m.
Weekday Route 10E to provide service to Basswood Avenue, Swan Lake Road, Eklund Avenue and Maple Grove Road with four outbound trips departing downtown at 5:50 a.m., 3:25 p.m., 4:25 p.m. and 5:25 p.m. Two inbound trips will depart Miller Mall Door 8 at 6:15 and 7:10 a.m.
Weekday Route 10 trips to depart the Transit Center at 20 minutes after the hour after 7 p.m.
Weekday Route 10 trips to depart Miller Mall Door 8 at 56 minutes after the hour after 7:30 p.m.
Weekday Route 11M now departing downtown at 7:36 a.m. will change to 7:32 a.m.
Weekday Route 11 and 11K to depart UMD on the hour from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Weekday Route 11k trips to depart the Transit Center at 20 minutes after the hour after 6 p.m.
Saturday Route 11k trips after 7 p.m., and Sunday trips after 6 p.m. to discontinue service to the College of St. Scholastica. Inbound trips will continue to serve CSS.
The weekday Route 12 trip departing UMD at 7:08 p.m. for downtown will be eliminated.
Weekday Route 13 to downtown to depart UMD on the hour after 7 p.m.
Two weekday Route 13 trips to be eliminated — the trip departing downtown at 6:40 p.m. and the trip departing the Woodland Park & Ride at 7:17 p.m.
Weekday and Saturday Route 14 and 14P to be eliminated, replaced with Route 14W, providing service to West Fourth Boulevard, Tenth Avenue West, Skyline Parkway and Mesaba Avenue. Weekday trips will depart downtown at 6:23 a.m., 7 a.m., 8:08 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:40 p.m., 4:06 p.m., 4:59 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. Saturday trips will depart downtown at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. All trips from downtown would return via Skyline Parkway, Mesaba Avenue and West Seventh Street.
Weekday Route 10E to provide service to Basswood Avenue, Swan Lake Road, Eklund Avenue and Maple Grove Road wih four trips from downtown at 5:50 a.m., 3:25 p.m., 4:25 p.m. and 5:25 p.m., and two trips to downtown departing Miller Mall Door 8 at 6:15 and 7:10 a.m.
Three weekday evening Route 15C trips to be eliminated.
The last Sunday Route 16 to downtown will depart Tower and 14th Avenue in Superior at 7:01 p.m. rather than at 7:03 p.m. to provide a better connection with Route 2.
Trips that currently terminate at the Superior Wal-Mart will expand service to South Superior.
Trips to downtown will depart South Superior at the current schedule times and bypass Billings Park on their way to Tower Avenue and 14th Street. On Saturday and Sunday the last trip on each day will continue to provide service to Billings Park in both directions. The schedules for those two trips will remain the same.
Weekday Route 18 will depart from UMD on the hour from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
To be discontinued.