Asheville to hold workshops, launch surveys on Transit Master Plan update

Press release from the city of Asheville:

The City of Asheville invites everyone to participate in two community workshops as part of its recently announced Transit Master Plan update.

A survey will also be available for residents who can’t make it to the workshops. Future public engagement activities will include discussion group workshops with various stakeholder groups, meetings with Asheville Redefines Transit (ART) staff and citizen advisory boards, and final public meetings to receive feedback on the Draft Plan.

The Transit Master Plan will shape how and where transit service will be provided by ART service. It’s designed to ensure safe, convenient and accessible public transportation for all residents, workers and visitors to the Asheville area.Last developed in 2009 and adopted in 2010, an updated plan will provide measurable goals and detailed strategies for improving transit throughout the City. The plan will:

  • Assess existing transit services;
  • Review ART’s current operating environment;
  • Evaluate current and future mobility needs; and
  • Determine whether and how existing bus transit services can be adjusted to provide improved service levels throughout the City.

The plan is expected to be completed by summer 2018.

Community workshops

Two community workshops will be held in November. The format will be charrette style, a collaborative discussion between participants, City staff and the consultant team for the project.

Here is the workshop schedule:

According to Transit Planning Manager, Elias Mathes, “Asheville has changed significantly since the last Transit Master Plan was developed in 2009 and that has impacted bus service. An updated plan will allow us to improve the efficiency and reliability of current service, and will give us a roadmap for enhancements and potential expansion of future service. These changes will expand mobility options for our citizens and improve their access to employment and location-efficient affordable housing.”

Survey input as well

On Nov.6, the City will launch a survey on Open City Hall Asheville to get rider and resident input on how to improve ART bus service. Paper copies of this survey will be available at City Recreation Centers.

Also in November, local volunteers will be conducting surveys with riders on ART buses, so be on the lookout for that.

“Our goal is to be as inclusive as possible, to reach as many riders and residents as we can,” said Brenda Mills, City Neighborhood and Public Engagement Manager.

Though not required to participate in the Open City Hall, registration is encouraged. Registration is quick and easy, and the information is used only to verify local input and to prepare the meeting for the right-sized crowd. It is not shared with a third party.

Transit Master Plan process

The project team, led by Tindale-Oliver & Associates, will work with the City’s Transit Planning Division to collect data and public input to help determine what enhancements may be recommended. Information will be collected through an on-board survey of riders, an online survey of the general public, stakeholder interviews and public workshops that will focus on the public’s opinion about Asheville’s future transit growth.

The goal of the Transit Master Plan is to establish a mobility vision and program of investments that have community consensus, support and approval for more effective and efficient ART public transportation services to meet the needs of Asheville and support our continued growth.

For more information on Asheville’s Transit Master Plan and to get involved, please visit the Transit Master Plan project page on the City of Asheville website. More public outreach is planned for the spring as the plan takes shape.

For more information, contact:

Elias Mathes, Transit Planning Manager | City of Asheville

828-232-4522 |

About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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