A BETTER CONNECTION
Trinity Metro is redesigning its bus network to create A Better Connection and we need your help.
To make real improvements, we are reconsidering the entire network – adding services, examining single routes and intersection of service times, locations and destinations in our growing city.
On this page, you will find everything you need to know about A Better Connection, including the project timeline, fact sheets and meeting information.
We have developed five key trade-offs to help frame the discussions. You can learn more about each trade-off in the downloadable PDF Fact Sheets below.
PHASE I ONLINE PUBLIC MEETINGS
View the recordings for the previous online public meetings below.
We have quite a few routes that are very indirect. A lot of that is because they are serving specific destinations along the way. This isn’t easy — there is a tradeoff when you ask people to walk further to the bus stop. That isn’t always accessible for some people. But it does make trips faster for many many people.
There are actually clusters of density in big parts of the city that we can see on the map we looked at earlier. It’s a really good example of places we could add more service: the far southwest and Park Glen and Summerfields in the north. There are some significant pockets of activity that the current routes don’t serve. Sometimes they get really close — like on the west side — but then don’t go far enough.
At this point we haven’t started drawing maps, so we aren’t sure what the answer is or which makes the most sense, but those are the kind of areas we are looking at. Where do people live? Where do people work?
This works best with areas with moderate to low density and often in places where the destinations are scattered and the street networks are disconnected. This also makes sense in places where sidewalks are missing or disconnected–where walking to major streets can be difficult or dangerous.
If you look at the current network map, places where this probably makes the most sense are where the routes are most winding.
Southeast part of the service area is a good example of this.
There’s a real limit to how much one of these can cover–that is one constraint. But another is how many resources we have to do these overall. It would be theoretically possible to cover a large area of Trinity Metro with service like this, but that would be a lot of money for not that much ridership.
So it’s important to do this in places where it’s truly needed.
We mainly have talked about this in terms of residential areas, but it could also be used in commercial or employment areas with similar approaches. The same basic principles apply.
We definitely want to hear specific comments like that. We are doing polling and a survey, and we also just want your general comments. This is one of the reasons why the tradeoff between downtown and other destinations is so important. The locations where most employment is has changed drastically, say, over the last 50 years. This bus network was designed when Downtown really was where most of the jobs were.
But if we look at the pattern of employment today, it is much more dispersed. A lot of the service jobs, the entry level jobs, are jobs that are not Downtown.. Distribution warehouses and lots of restaurants are not Downtown. The current network often takes people out of their way.
Connecting to Alliance could be really important to give people economic opportunity. If you live in southeast fort worth, being able to get to Alliance gives you more choices for a job. The current network doesn’t do this very well. We identified a lot of non-downtown employment centers which are not served well currently.
That’s a great question! One that we haven’t fully figured out yet, but we are thinking about it. We’re looking at the current transfer centers and seeing if those are in the right locations, do they work well?
Some transfers may just be at a street corner with a bus shelter if there are many across the city. One of the advantages of the Downtown network is that Central Station is a really nice place with many amenities. A network with more connecting points means that each individual one may be not as nice.
We’ve pulled in bus drivers from the beginning. We had some really fun workshops a while back with everyone from senior managers to bus drivers and often bus drivers have the most insight and ideas. They know why a bus is often delayed at a certain spot or which connections are the most valuable. We are absolutely getting their input.
Absolutely. This is going to be one of the key tradeoffs. The reason why transit agencies offer less service in the evenings is because ridership IS lower. There ARE fewer trips at those hours. But again, that kind of example, if bus routes don’t run that late there are people who we can’t serve. That might mean they have to make a different choice–like buying a car they can’t afford–or that job isn’t an option for them.
This kind of all day service serves things exactly like that. What we will find is that those buses won’t be as full, but those people will strongly rely on the service.
It’s a mix. There are more jobs that fit the general 9-5 range than any other specific period, but there is a large percentage that don’t fit that range and vary dramatically. And it seems like that category is increasing.
It is absolutely an option. That’s what the zip zones are doing. The idea of on-call service has been around for a long time, but it was not very useful during the era of landline phones. Now with access to the app, it becomes a lot more useful.
We also have ADA paratransit service, but what we’re talking about here is service that everyone is eligible for. It’s a case where technology has made it easier for everyone to use.
It’s really important to realize that the transit experience is a door to door experience — it is not a bus stop to bus stop experience. If we want it to be useful, convenient, and comfortable,we have to think about the sidewalks and bike lanes that get you to that bus stop. We have to think about how the bus operates: how traffic signals work, how turn lanes are designed, can buses bypass traffic?
The city of Fort Worth and other member cities are integral for this process. Trinity Metro is not just about Fort Worth and the other cities are every bit as important to us. This is also part of a larger regional transit network where people need to connect to DFW airport etc.
Transit Moves Fort Worth is really a long term plan with a lot of focus on major capital improvements. This is a shorter term project. This project is about how we should change the network next year. They are very complementary. We are taking everything they looked at and in a lot of ways A better connection is the first step of implementing Transit Moves Fort Worth.
That’s a fun one! The thing about the metroplex is that there are a lot of city limits. There are multiple different transit agencies working together as well as cities that are not part of any transit system. So while we are looking here specifically at the Trinity Metro service area, trinity metro constantly talks to other agencies.
Arlington really pops up on the maps as a real set of destinations, but right now Arlington doesn’t pay any taxes to the agency. There are definitely larger conversations that should be had about how we can have more partnerships and make more connections as people’s lives don’t stop at the borders of cities.
We are aiming to start service changes next year! You’ll see a lot more activity over the course of this year and early next year. It is exciting to make this happen so soon.
Existing Conditions Established
The goal of this part of the project is to analyze, understand and document the current Trinity Metro transit network as well as the population, employment, and activity patterns of the service area.
Create an overview of existing conditions based on previous reports and staff work.
RESULTS FROM THIS TASK – REVIEW EXISTING CONDITIONS REPORT
Conduct strategic partner outreach as well as host public opportunities to provide feedback. Outreach will be conducted to develop clearly articulated goals for the new network by working through a series of trade-offs to consider and the project survey.
Develop goals for the project, including desired improvements for riders and budget goals based on trade-off response.
Develop System Alternatives
Using feedback gathered develop a series of alternatives for the Trinity Metro transit network. The alternate networks will be of varying levels of change that has been determined by responses to the survey and comments on the presented trade-offs.
Feedback from the public and strategic partners.
Refine the three alternatives in to a single draft network plan, presented as a set of routes, frequencies and spans of service.
RESULTS FROM THIS TASK – REVIEW DRAFT PLAN AND TAKE THE FINAL SURVEY
Develop implementation plan including a schedule for making the approved changes, out outlines of what is required to make the approved changes and recommendations as to how best roll out the new system.
Add implementation plan specifications to various Trinity Metro departmental functions.
A Better Connection Route Changes are Implemented