A.R.T. connects people with resources

I’m a Referral Specialist at 2-1-1, our local community service information line, and I’m excited about some of the city of Asheville’s changes to the transit program.

I recently had a caller in Asheville who wanted to know if a food pantry I referred him to was close to a bus line. I remembered that Asheville Redefines Transit now has all its bus routes on Google Maps. The gentleman I was talking to was asking about the closest bus to a certain pantry, so from our 2-1-1 software I clicked the "Map Address" hyperlink. After getting the Google Maps location, I clicked "Get Directions," put in the caller's zip code and clicked the bus icon, and the exact bus route and the time it would take to walk to the pantry came up.

This feature is easy to use and is super helpful for our Asheville callers who use the bus for transport! Thanks to the city for helping work toward barrier-free access to community services.

— Neela McDade
Asheville

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One thought on “A.R.T. connects people with resources

  1. parrish rhodes

    Neela McDade’s comments about ART’s Google Map is well taken for finding local resources. My problem with it is finding bus stops near the resource. For example – when ART was ATS, I could board the bus in front of my house, be at the bus station in 15-18 minutes, transfer immediately to another bus, and get off directly in front of Earth Fare at Westgate in about four minutes. With the ART system, if I take the ‘best way’ it will be 43 minutes and make 23 stops; the ‘less walking’ way will be 56 minutes – allowing 1/2 hour for a connection…and so on. For the most part, the little icon of a person walking is featured more than bus letters – because a bus goes BY a resource does not seem to mean that there is a bus stop conveniently located NEAR the resource. For people with difficulty with walking, the ART system may look neat and tidy, but I challenge the designers to have their elderly friends or relatives actually try to use it!

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