ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — What's working and what isn't? That's what the Municipality of Anchorage wants to know about People Mover. It's been a little over a year since big changes to the public transit system went into effect, and now city officials are calling for public input.
Since those changes were implemented in 2017, buses arrive more frequently at more densely populated areas, hours of service have expanded, and the number of trips on the weekends has doubled. While public input won't result in any immediate changes, it will help inform a prioritized list of future projects, and allow planners to estimate how much those projects might cost. Six public meetings are coming up this week where the public is welcome to comment.
Transit Planning Manager Bart Rudolph says they're already receiving some useful feedback. For example, they're finding that a lot of people weren't happy about the removal of a bus stop in front of the Loussac Library.
"We also hear a lot about service in South Anchorage along Old Seward Highway, and in West Anchorage, the Turnagain neighborhood, so we would like to find ways on maybe serving those neighborhoods a little better," Rudolph said. "Maybe it's not a typical transit route anymore, maybe it's this new idea called micro-transit, or who knows what is out there now that we would like to explore through this process."
Rudolph says they've also received some positive feedback, mainly about the change to buses arriving more frequently.
"We have routes where buses arrive every 15 minutes," Rudolph said. "People love it, and the ridership is increasing. Ever since we changed the system over a year ago, the last seven months have had ridership increases, and that hasn't happened since 2008. So the new system is working, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. That room for improvement is what we want to hear from the public."
Here's a list of the upcoming meetings:
Tuesday, 2/19: 10:00 - 11:30am - Mountain View Library
Tuesday, 2/19: 5:30 - 7:00pm - Eagle River Town Center, Room 170
Wednesday, 2/20: 10:00 - 11:30am - Dimond Center Mall, 2nd Floor, Next to Habitat Housewares
Wednesday, 2/20: 5:30 - 7:00pm - Romig Middle School, Multipurpose Room
Thursday, 2/21: 5:00 - 6:30pm - Muldoon Library
Friday, 2/22: 5:30 - 7:00pm - Fairview Community Center
Comments can also be submitted online for those who can't make it to one of the public meetings.