Public transit use is on the rise both nationally and in the Lexington area. Lextran’s ridership doubled since 2011. As our population continues to grow, especially among older and younger age groups, communities are turning to public transit as a key solution to remaining competitive and keeping pace with population growth as road space and land availability becomes more limited. Lexington area residents continue to demonstrate support for sustaining and expanding public transit, including through a local voter-approved property tax in 2004. In 2013, respondents to the MPO’s Transportation Survey allocated an average of 20 cents on the dollar to public transit when asked how they would invest in transportation. One-third of survey takers said they would like to use the bus for transportation in the future.
The MPO works in coordination with Lextran to review trends and discuss future opportunities for public transit. Lextran is currently conducting a Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA) that will be completed by 2015. This COA evaluates the current transit system and recommends best steps moving forward to meet the needs of users in a cost effective manner. With additional funding provided through the MPO, the current COA will also take a more comprehensive and long-range look at future capabilities and technologies that optimize and expand transit service. Feasible, cost-effective means to increase transit service and ridership that are identified by the COA may then be vetted, prioritized and programmed for funding through the MPO Planning Process and Transportation Improvement Program. Initiatives that are currently being explored include regional transit, increased service frequency, reduced transit travel times, additional transfer stations and bus rapid transit.
In January of 2014, Lextran also completed a Transit Alternatives Analysis for the (U.S. 27) Nicholasville Rd corridor that included support and participation from the MPO.
After a study of existing conditions, forecasted demographics, future land uses and traffic patterns, it was recommended to pursue a Mixed Traffic Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) connecting Nicholasville with downtown Lexington. This proposed version of Bus Rapid Transit envisions a limited amount of inbound and outbound stops with service running form a terminal park-and-ride location in Nicholasville to the downtown transit center in Lexington. The service would consist of nine new stations along the corridor and the existing transit center. The BRT line would operate with approximately one mile station spacing from 6 AM to 6 PM on a 20 minute weekday headways.
The MPO also works to coordinate city planning, land development and Lextran efforts to better serve the Lexington-Fayette County region. New and infill developments are reviewed for the suitability and opportunities for transit routes and stops. Long-range MPO goals include facilitating more transit-oriented regional centers and transportation corridors as new development and infill occurs.
Additionally, the MPO has worked closely with Lextran to identify, fund and help address ADA issues and to install bus shelters along transit routes, including working with Art in Motion to help future their mission to install artistic bus shelters along Lextran routes.
For more information contact Joey David, Transit Planner, at 258-3160 or at email@example.com
If you are looking for public transit and commuting options in the Lexington and Bluegrass area please visit our www.moveitpeople.com website.