On Thursday, Tallahassee’s StarMetro transit service is offering free bus rides as part of the national annual Dump the Pump day. The city is also taking the day as an opportunity to gather input on new proposed transportation routes.
As Tallahassee development grows denser, city planners are looking to streamline transit routes.
StarMetro’s Brian Waterman says, "We’re following in the footsteps of many other great cities that do the same thing. Atlanta. Tampa. Similar-sized one: Little Rock, Arkansas. All these cities have gone through this process. We’re just now — we’ve come to a point now where we’re ready to make the same decision.”
After gathering input at public meetings, StarMetro is now presenting 10 routes it hopes to narrow down to three or four after this round of input.
“The City Commission will then adopt it as the locally preferred alternative, and then we’ll start looking and going to the next phase of the project, which is much longer, where we’re going to start establishing a timeline and funding mechanisms to make it happen," he says.
After the most popular routes are chosen, the city will decide whether light rail, street cars or rapid buses are the best transportation mode to go through the city center.Waterman says it could take up to 10 years before the project is complete because further planning, studies and permitting will be required.
On Thursday, StarMetro will survey riders at Steele Plaza. And an info session and survey will be held at the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The survey is also available on the StarMetro website through early July.