Charlottesville Transit Service Recommendation for Use of Additional Transit Funding 



Staff recommendation for the use of additional transit service funding ($250,000) the Board of Supervisors approved as part of the FY 07-08 budget



Tucker, Foley, Davis, Graham, Benish, Wade





July 11, 2007


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The Board of Supervisors allocated an additional $250,000 for expanded transit service in the FY07/08 budget.  Staff is providing the Board of Supervisors a recommendation on where this expanded transit service should be provided in the County. Typically, staff provides the Board of Supervisors recommendations on expanded transit service during the departmental budget submittal process. The Department of Community Development did not make a departmental request for expanded transit service for FY07/08 due to on-going discussions at that time with the City on transit cost and expansion in the County. These discussions resulted in undertaking the Regional Transit Authority Study now underway. 



3.1 By June 30, 2010, expand regional transit opportunities.



In consultation with Charlottesville Transit Service (CTS), staff is recommending that the additional $250,000 in transit funding  in FY07/08 be used to fund: 1) the new Route 2B, serving the Fifth Street area, and 2) for improving service frequency on Route 5 between Barracks Road Shopping Center and Wal-Mart from every 45 minutes to every 30 minutes.


Route 2B (Attachment A) has been in service since March 2007. The City has funded this service since its March start date.  This service will cost the County approximately $37,000 annually. This route provides service to Southwood Mobile Home Park and the COB-Fifth Street where several of the County service departments are located (including Social Services, Police, and Fire Rescue).  


Staff is also recommending providing for increased frequency of service on Route 5 (Attachment B). CTS completed the Charlottesville Transit Development Plan, July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2011 last year, and one of the service recommendations in the Plan (TDP) is to add a third bus to the two buses currently used to provide Route 5 service.  Adding a third bus will improve the frequency of service, with buses running every 30 minutes instead of the current 45 minutes.  Greater frequency provides more travel options to passengers and makes transit service more attractive.  Transfers will also be more convenient because connections between buses at Fashion Square and Barracks Road Shopping Center will be at consistent times (twice each hour).  More transfer opportunities and more consistent transfer times makes transit service more convenient and more attractive.  In FY 2006, Route 5 ridership was 84,374.  Staff believes increasing service frequency will lead to increased ridership on this route. This service will cost the County approximately $199,000 annually, which includes $144,000 for ongoing expenses and $55,000 in one time cost for matching funds needed for the purchase of an additional bus.


CTS and County staff believe that these two expansions in service will increase transit ridership in support of the County’s strategic plan. The cost of these two services total $236,000. If supported by the Board of Supervisors, the new services will start August 25, 2007.


CTS and County staff considered the possibility of expanding transit opportunities by providing night service.


Transit service currently stops at 7:00 p.m. Staff did not recommend providing night service at this time primarily because there will be an opportunity for CTS and the County to apply for a Job Access Reverse Commute grant in FY08/09, which could pay for 2/3 of the night service (with the County funding the remaining 1/3 of the service). CTS must apply for this grant in January 2008. Additional information regarding the grant application will be provided to the Board of Supervisors at a later date as CTS does not have all of the information pertaining to this grant at this time.



The $250,000 was included as part of the adopted FY 2007/08 budget.



Staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors approve the use of the additional $250,000 allocated in the FY07/08 budget for funding 1) Route 2B serving the Fifth Street area, and 2) improving service frequency on Route 5 from every 45 minutes to every 30 minutes between Barracks Road Shopping Center and Wal-Mart.



Attachment A - Route 2B transit service map

Attachment B – Route 5 transit service map (part 1)

Attachment B – Route 5 transit service map (part 2)

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