Let's Make it Mandatory to Follow up on Bus Route Changes
The Sacramento Transit Riders Union (SacTRU) urges the Board to tie approval of changes made during the route optimization to quarterly reports presented to the Board and the public on the impacts of the changes made during the route optimization for the next 5 years. Our members have seen system changes and pilot programs repeatedly be rolled out and then forgotten about, losing the institutional knowledge of intended goals. This makes it difficult for the agency to readjust programs or actions that may not achieve the desired results.
Through quarterly reporting, we hope that the agency can more transparently commit to promises it has made in the past and begin building a system on real working data. For example, our members noted that the although frequent service on the #30 was part of the justification for eliminating the #36 in 2008 and the #34 this summer, in the current proposal that frequency is being removed. Route #30 is the fourth most used bus in our system serving approximately 1,750 daily riders. In light of the history of this route and the emphasis of the route optimization the importance of frequency, our members are concerned about the impacts of cutting the frequency on this route.
Our members request that the data collected in the coming years be benchmarked against the current system so that members of the public can easily track how communities are better served through these proposed changes. They have suggested the following possible comparisons and are willing to discuss further with the Board and staff:
Changes in weekend and evening ridership.
Changes in overall ridership.
Changes in ridership in different communities, similar to the heat maps done during the Jarret Walker analysis of the project.
Changes in micro transit ridership.
Changes in route length, which are much longer in the current proposal, and how that impacts ridership, travel time, route headways and bunching, etc.
We urge the board to ensure that data is collect and used to inform future system proposals in a meaningful way. Our members are concerned that the justification for these changes will be lost overtime and our transit system will repeat the same mistakes again and again. We hope that added accountability and transparency will help riders and the Board better understand how our system can change and improve.
See the current proposal here: http://www.sacrt.com/apps/sacrt-forward-draft-networks/