Wow, out of nowhere I learned that we are abandoning much of our 5 year transit plan (at least for now). The council and the public were not in any way prepared or told about this. The council was not informed by our transit manager of any of these changes. We only found out about it because in studying the budget there were some numbers that didn’t make sense. Only yesterday we received confirmation of everything that had been removed from the plan.
I had not gotten curious about what was happening the public and the council would never have even known about the changes. That just can’t happen after the city council approves a plan that was complete with a funding model.
The transit manager is going to have many questions to answer. What the hell happened, is a good place to start. Why didn’t you tell us is a another. The transit manager is retiring and we will be doing a nationwide search for a replacement.
Here is what the public was told they were getting: 5 Year Transit Plan
Here is the Post Bulletin coverage of the changes.
Below, I underlined the parts of the plan which have been cut.
Year 2 (2018)
RPT will dramatically change its route nomenclature, expand its geographical service area, and extend much more frequency to routes during off-peak hours (particularly in the midday). Almost all the changes involve the addition of service. Some routes have been reconfigured such that there are more opportunities for transfers to be made in places outside downtown. The Crosstown Loop (Route 91) will begin service, providing even more opportunities for transfers outside of downtown. If RPT’s system looks like a hub and spokes, the Crosstown Loop completes the wheel by adding a rim to it.
Year 3 (2019)
An expected shortage of vehicles in Year 2 leads us to anticipate not being able to split the successor to the current Route 8 (serving Country Club Manor) until delivery of new buses in Year 3. In Year 2, the current Route 8 will be renamed Route 50, but will otherwise operate as it currently does. In Year 3, however, this will finally be split into Routes 52 and 54, allowing for more efficient service to the northern and southern halves of the neighborhood.
If we are going to stop this change from happening we have probably only 6 days to do so. This could be particularly devastating to non-profits who are dealing with large cuts from the State of Minnesota and low income residents who are struggling with housing costs.