Master Transit Plan
After months of gathering public input and analyzing data, three alternative service plans have been developed for public comment. Two of the alternatives are cost-neutral, meaning PRT could move forward with the implementation of either plan without spending any more money than they do today. The third plan is financially unconstrained, meaning it represents a vision for the future and identifies options for system expansion if additional funding resources become available.
We believe these recommendations will provide better service for most riders, but we want to hear from you, the community before we make final decisions.
ABOUT THE STUDY
As the Pocatello region evolves, so do its transit needs.
The Bannock Transportation Planning Organization (BTPO), in partnership with Pocatello Regional Transit (PRT), is developing a Transit Master Plan for the BTOP planning area. The purpose of the study is to identify what is and is not working well today, where service is and is not needed most, and ultimately, how PRT can better serve the Pocatello region both today and in the future. The Transit Master Plan will provide a planning, policy, financial, and operational framework for developing and delivering transit service, projects, and programs through 2040.
Through this study, BTPO and PRT hope to:
- Better understand how we can best serve our existing and potential customers, and define transit’s role in regional mobility and economic development.
- Increase ridership through improved design and operation of public transit in Pocatello.
- Establish a framework for making decisions about existing and future transit service.
To accomplish this, BTPO and PRT will be soliciting input from the public throughout each step of the study process to ensure the recommended service changes meet the needs of the community.
PLAN VISION AND STRATEGIES
It’s an exciting time for the Transit Master Plan! We are moving forward from data gathering and analysis to developing recommendations for service changes. How are these recommendations being shaped? By talking to you, our community! We’ve heard from key stakeholders, Pocatello Regional Transit leadership, and members of the community. Those conversations have helped us develop a plan vision and set of strategies that will guide our detailed, route-by-route recommendations to build an even better bus system for the Pocatello region.
What We Heard
In August 2017, PRT and BTPO conducted five pop-up outreach sessions around the region, one open-house session, and held three focus groups to learn more about the current transit challenges and opportunities in the region. We also surveyed riders and non-riders online and in-person, asking the community to weigh in on how to prioritize service given limited funding.
The key themes we heard included:
- Residents value the transit system and think it’s an important service the City provides.
- Customers would like shorter travel times on the bus.
- Customers would like the bus to run later and come more often.
- Customers would like more weekend service.
- Customers would like more amenities at stops, including benches, shelters, and service information.
- Opportunities exist to build and strengthen community partnerships.
Recommended Transit Master Plan Vision
The following vision was developed based on input from riders, local stakeholders, and PRT leadership.
The vision for Pocatello Regional Transit is a system that provides safe, cost-effective, and reliable transportation services that support the social, economic, and environmental well-being of the community by providing access to education, employment, public service, healthcare, shopping, and recreational opportunities.
Match Transit Service to Market Demand
- Provide bus service where it can be both effective and efficient, based on ridership, community needs, and land use characteristics.
Improve Customer Experience
- Reduce Travel Time on the Bus: The number of time passengers spends traveling on a bus to their destination influences their experience. One-way routes increase the amount of time passengers have to spend on the bus. Providing bi-directional service on routes reduces travel time and improves customer satisfaction.
- Increase Service Spans: Service span affects passengers’ ability to use transit for all their daily needs. Increasing the hours and days that service is available will improve customer mobility, especially for individuals who work hours outside of the traditional Monday-Friday 9am-5pm period.
- Improve Frequency: Out-of-vehicle wait time is perhaps the most important factor individuals consider when deciding whether or not to use transit. Improving service frequency (how often the bus comes) can greatly enhance overall the passenger experience.
- Improve Information Availability: One potential barrier to transit use is whether or not it is easy for customers to understand how the different routes operate and where they go. Riders need to feel confident that the bus they are boarding will get them to their destination, and confidence is generated through clear maps, schedules, and signage. Providing more information for riders in the form of maps and clearly marked bus stop signs can help them better understand the system and how to use