Greensboro buses to double frequency in new year

by Jordan Green

Public buses are slated to move to a 30-minute schedule across the city starting on Jan. 2 – the outcome of an $800,000 commitment by the Greensboro City Council when they approved the 2005-2006 budget last summer.

With the exception of three bus routes that have been running at higher frequency during peak ridership hours, the buses run by the Greensboro Transit Authority currently hit each stop once an hour.

“This is a really significant enhancement for transit in the Greensboro community,” Public Transportation Manager Libby James said. “It enhances the conveniences that we can offer the riders. It’s going to make transit a more viable option for citizens of Greensboro. It’s going to be more competitive with travel [in a] private automobile.”

She added that making public transportation more attractive to people who would otherwise commute by car will contribute to improved air quality in the Piedmont Triad.

The cost of doubling frequency for the city’s 14 bus routes will be $800,000 every six months, James said. While the city will foot the bill initially, the transit manager said she hopes that increased ridership in Greensboro will shake loose additional federal and state funds to support the system.

“We are awaiting delivery of ten new transit coaches,” James said. “We’ve already taken delivery of one, and we anticipate delivery of the rest by the middle of the month. We’re having to reprint our route maps to show the additional service. We’re having to hire and train new drivers, probably anywhere from eight to ten.”

She added: “This is a need that has been out there for several years. In order for a transit system to be effective it’s really driven by the frequency of service. By having more frequency you can offer more convenience.”

– Jordan Green