New ride: This spring, Asheville Transit purchased five new hybrid diesel-electric buses. The city hopes to have two more on the road by 2013. Photos by Jonathan Welch

The art of the wheel

Amid tough budgets, significant safety issues and rising fuel costs, Asheville Transit is rolling into summer with a major tuneup. The system is poised to announce new routes, schedules and other changes designed to improve performance, convenience and safety. In tandem, the city will launch a marketing campaign aimed at touting the transition and luring new riders, starting with a name change from ATS to ART (Asheville Redefines Transit).

City looks for new company to manage Asheville Transit System-attachment0

City looks for new company to manage Asheville Transit System

The city of Asheville plans to solicit proposals from new companies to manage its transit system. Starting in June, the Asheville Transit System will implement changes designed to improve its routing and on-time performance. The city will also mount a marketing campaign to increase ridership, changing the name of the system from ATS to ART (Asheville Redefines Transit).

Asheville City Council approves Transit Master Plan (Citizen-reported via Twitter)

Asheville City Council votes 6-1 to accept Transit Master Plan, tweets Xpress reporter Brian Postelle. Council will hear implementation options at its January retreat. “OK, TMP fans,” tweets an ebullient @ashevillebus, “It’s time to start lobbying council to find the money to fund the plan.” Council also voted to postpone for one week the cancellation of the Asheville-Weaverville route.

Shuler nails down federal funds for hybrid buses

Amid the din of arriving and departing buses at downtown Asheville’s Coxe Avenue Transit Center, Rep. Heath Shuler announced April 9 that he’s secured $238,000 in federal funding to help pay for the city’s planned transition to hybrid buses. Shuler on board: Mayor Terry Bellamy (at podium) introduces Rep. Heath Shuler (at right), announcing that […]