Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Public transit - a rural model

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the top factors for making a city walkable, and I said one of those was accessibility. As the transportation engineer Peter Lagerwey explained, this goes beyond having space for walking. It means having good walking routes that take you to your destinations.

You know what improves access? Public transit. With an expansive bus or rail system, residents don't have to choose between walking and driving; they can essentially combine the two and still leave their cars at home.

Christian County's only bus system is the one Pennyrile Allied Community Services uses for services funded by Medicaid. But it's possible that Mayor Dan Kemp will allocate money for new buses in his 2013-14 budget proposal. A poll showed thousands of people would use buses if this town had more for the general public.

If you haven't filled out the state's transportation survey, you should do so now. Tell the state whether or not it should allocate money for public transit.

Regardless of your views, take a look at VelociRFTA, a rapid transit system being built in Colorado. It will run 39 miles along the state's most congested highway. As the DC Streetsblog reports, when it opens in September, it will be the first bus rapid transit system in the U.S. to serve a rural area. At $40 million, this kind of project likely falls beyond Kentucky's price range. But it might spark some inspiration.

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