Posted on Wednesday, Mar. 10, 2021 at 9:35 am
Madison is known for its walkable neighborhoods and business districts, accessible natural beauty and ample opportunity between the University, the state capitol, the science and technology sector and much more. But these things that make Madison uniquely desirable for many of us, are increasingly inaccessible to working people, many of whom rely on Metro Transit to get to the jobs that have kept our economy going through the pandemic. That’s why a Metro that best serves Madison is one that delivers front door service.
Front door transit service is the kind that takes you from starting point to where you’re going, with convenience, ease, safety and comfort. Transit should be at the center of things – with good access to retail and services, employment centers, and cultural destinations. That means both bringing transit to where it needs to be, and also developing land next to transit corridors in a transit-oriented way.
We haven’t always done this. Our transfer point system was created to provide greater service to Madison’s more distant neighborhoods. Unfortunately, when we were locating the transfer points, no one wanted them at their front doors, so the transfer points were relegated to difficult to find, isolated locations, without strong connections to the neighborhood they are near. This doesn’t serve anyone well.
We have a chance now to upgrade our transit system and we need to get it right. Bus Rapid Transit is our largest transportation investment in decades. BRT will provide 5 or 10 minute access from 6 am to 12 midnight along key transportation corridors. At the same time, the Metro Transit Route Redesign will rethink where our current routes are, to better support our riders.
State of the art electric busses will serve our BRT lines and will provide fast, quiet, green alternatives to cars, giving us more pleasant public spaces, better bike rides, and positive public health impacts for everyone. The electric buses also will help Madison attain its climate goals. Ensuring that this green transportation alternative is desirable, available rain or shine, where people are and where they want to go is crucial to its success. As a community that believes in sustainability, we understand the enormous impact fewer cars on the road has on our city, from cleaner air, to less runoff from our roads into our lakes and aquifers.
The Metro Transit Network Redesign will design a route system that will better meet the needs of Madison area residents and businesses by increasing access, decreasing travel times, and improving the quality of transit riders’ experience. We’re focused on improving service for underserved and disadvantaged communities, and also on evening and weekend service. You can get involved with this process at mymetrobus.com.
Front door transit service is vital as we work to kick-start our economy in the wake of economic damages brought on by COVID-19. Revitalizing our commercial centers will be made all the easier with ample and accessible public transportation, helping to lessen congestion, eliminating the need to search for parking and guaranteeing safe travel options when you are traveling downtown or need to return home. All at one of the lowest prices per rider in the country, these bus benefits not only make it possible for residents to explore Madison, and patronize our businesses, but our busses also provide safe and reliable transportation for youth to access community centers, and other vital youth programming.
Front door service fundamentally changes the way we live in and explore Madison. I am proud that we are embarking on creating a system that delivers front door service through our Bus Rapid Transit investment and Madison Metro Redesign.