Our bus stops are getting more spaced out!
The number one complaint about our bus service is that it takes too long to get to a destination. In an effort to speed up your bus trip, VTA is analyzing every source causing delays, such as traffic congestion, stopping patterns, traffic signals, and operational procedures like the passenger boarding process, all in a program called VTA’s Fast Transit Program. This effort will complement the new service frequency improvements that begin on Feb. 8.
A significant component of delay to your bus trip is the time spent picking up and dropping off passengers, which is a problem where bus stops are too closely spaced. Over the years, the number of VTA bus stops has grown considerably to a point where some stops are much too close together, slowing down everyone’s bus trip. In fact, during our Next Network project when we received over 10,000 suggestions for VTA’s future network, the community voiced strong support to discontinue stops that are too close together to speed up transit.
To make your ride faster, we are removing some of these close bus stops in a process called bus stop balancing. This means less time stopping in traffic, at red lights, and picking up passengers on almost every block. The evaluation process of which stops were selected to remove was data-driven as well as field inspected and discussed with operators who drive these routes.
The first round of bus stop balancing will be launched on routes 56, 66, and 68 next month. Most bus stops serving these three routes will remain unchanged, but some that have determined too close together will go away.
To improve bus speeds while maintaining access to stops, VTA’s Transit Service Guidelines recommend about four-to-five stops per mile. Removing some of the stops will improve speeds. To determine which stops to discontinue, we assessed a variety of factors, such as:
- Ridership (only stops with very low ridership will be discontinued)
- Transfers to other routes (stops that provide a connection to other routes will remain)
- Nearby public services (stops near senior centers, medical facilities, and other important community services will remain)
- Accessibility for mobility devices (stops regularly used by riders with mobility devices will remain)
- Operational and safety factors (local conditions sometimes prevent a stop in an ideal place)
Learn more about the program with this short video:
Stops that will be removed have a white sticker on the bus stop sign, a notice on the pole showing bus stop changes on the route, and directions to the nearest stops. Our project page has an interactive map and a list of proposed bus stops to be removed. Changes will go into effect Monday, Feb. 8.
For questions or to provide comment, please email BusStopBalancing@vta.org or call (408) 321-5930.