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Downtown 2010 Plan Idea #6 - Bus Transit Station

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Development Downtown 2010 Plan Idea #6 – Bus Transit Station

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Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 102 total)
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  • #361831

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    BCNation wrote >>

    johnwirtz wrote >>
    I recommend that the buses recover at the ends of the route (like Graceland, Crosswoods, Reynoldsburg, Westerville, Great Southern, etc…).

    Elaborate on that some more, please.

    Sure. Bus routes have variability in running times due to traffic controls, congestion, and passenger volumes. If a transit agency were to use the median travel time to publish its schedule, half the buses would be early and half would be late. They don’t want 50% of the buses to be late, so the schedule is set for a slower travel time. Somewhere on the route then, the faster buses have to stop and wait so they don’t arrive early. (Showing up early is even worse than being late because passengers who arrive to a stop on-time will have already missed the bus and become very frustrated.)

    So the question is where do we want the buses to sit around and wait? I am suggesting that scheduling the “recovery time” in the middle of the route (at High and Broad) is annoying to the passengers who want to travel beyond High and Broad because it delays them on their trip. I would rather a bus recover at the end of the route, when everyone has already exited the bus. Nobody is delayed by a bus sitting at the Crosswoods waiting for its next scheduled departure.

    I’m sure there is already recovery time built into the schedules at the end points too, so I guess I really am just saying that I would rather the buses passing through downtown not sit around in downtown for any significant time period. Drop people off, pick people up, and keep moving just like the rest of the route. If COTA travel times have so much variability that the downtown recovery point is truly necessary for schedule adherence, then COTA has bigger problems with their system and needs to work on improving the consistency of running times. I have plenty of suggestions on how to do this too.

    #361832

    Klablut
    Member

    San Francisco’s terminal has a park on top of the bldg. Beautiful concept. A park and/or outdoor restaurant (or just seating) would be perfect for the downtown lunch crowds.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/22/MNGS1D2189.DTL

    #361833

    ja
    Member

    Why not incorporate the greyhound station downtown which is and will continue to be an eyesore for the Columbus Commons right across the street. Let’s not kid ourselves!

    #361834

    anillo
    Participant

    Klablut wrote >>
    San Francisco’s terminal has a park on top of the bldg. Beautiful concept. A park and/or outdoor restaurant (or just seating) would be perfect for the downtown lunch crowds.
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/22/MNGS1D2189.DTL

    That looks awesome. It is a bit pricey tho. Anyone know how much the transit stations in the cities cited in the presentation cost? I have nothing to judge it against, but 1.1B sounds pretty high.

    @johnwirtz
    I think a lot of transfers occur at Broad and High, so for people taking more than 1 bus it’s probably more convenient for a bus to wait there so people have a bigger window to catch the bus they want to transfer to.
    Edit: after looking at the pics, it is a LOT bigger than I thought.

    #361835

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    anillo wrote >>

    Klablut wrote >>
    San Francisco’s terminal has a park on top of the bldg. Beautiful concept. A park and/or outdoor restaurant (or just seating) would be perfect for the downtown lunch crowds.
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/22/MNGS1D2189.DTL

    @johnwirtz I think a lot of transfers occur at Broad and High, so for people taking more than 1 bus it’s probably more convenient for a bus to wait there so people have a bigger window to catch the bus they want to transfer to.

    Yup, that is exactly what I meant when I said “Although the High Street lineup has its benefits…” in an earlier post.

    Still, I never liked transferring there either. I always felt nervous that the bus could start moving at any moment. So I’d start running to the bus, only to end up sitting on it for another five minutes. That problem is probably more related to me not knowing the scheduled departure time though.

    #361836
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    This is a little tidbit that I was not previously aware of:

    From Here: http://www.columbusunderground.com/planning-downtown-with-msi-design-part-2

    Keith Myers: The Statehouse won’t let COTA put in a bus shelter there and instead people huddle inside the parking garage stairwell until 6pm when they lock that and push everyone back out into the cold. We say that bus riders aren’t second class citizens, but we sure as hell treat them that way.

    Interesting. Even if we could get bus shelters install on Statehouse grounds I don’t know if it would be adequate. With so many bus lines running in this spot, it’s not uncommon to see 50 to 100 people waiting for a bus at Broad & High. A standard bus shelter seats what… maybe 5 people with room for another 5 to stand inside before it starts to get crowded. We’d need 5 to 10 shelters in a row along the street, which doesn’t seem to make much sense to me.

    #361837

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    Walker wrote >>
    This is a little tidbit that I was not previously aware of:
    From Here: http://www.columbusunderground.com/planning-downtown-with-msi-design-part-2
    Keith Myers: The Statehouse won’t let COTA put in a bus shelter there and instead people huddle inside the parking garage stairwell until 6pm when they lock that and push everyone back out into the cold. We say that bus riders aren’t second class citizens, but we sure as hell treat them that way.
    Interesting. Even if we could get bus shelters install on Statehouse grounds I don’t know if it would be adequate. With so many bus lines running in this spot, it’s not uncommon to see 50 to 100 people waiting for a bus at Broad & High. A standard bus shelter seats what… maybe 5 people with room for another 5 to stand inside before it starts to get crowded. We’d need 5 to 10 shelters in a row along the street, which doesn’t seem to make much sense to me.

    Maybe we need something bigger and nicer-looking than a standard bus shelter at that location. It probably still wouldn’t fit all 50-100 people, but it would be an improvement.

    #361838
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    It sounds like the Statehouse might be the issue there though. If they’re grumpy about kickballers on the lawn, I doubt they’ll want any sort of bus shelters there, no matter how grand.

    #361839

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    Walker wrote >>
    It sounds like the Statehouse might be the issue there though. If they’re grumpy about kickballers on the lawn, I doubt they’ll want any sort of bus shelters there, no matter how grand.

    You’re probably right. I was thinking that they just might not like the design of the current shelters. Too tacky for the grand ol’ statehouse. Maybe something that matched the statehouse design, or something modern and impressive would be okay?

    #361840

    terellg
    Member

    GREAT IDEA I HOPE THEY REALLY TAKE THESE SERIOUSLY…WE NEED THEM

    #361841

    johnwirtz
    Participant
    #361842
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster
    #361843
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    All those buses and riders: Bad for business?
    Tuesday, November 2, 2010
    BY DOUG CARUSO
    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

    As COTA takes a closer look at its Downtown bus service, one of the key questions is how any changes would affect High Street.

    Downtown developers have complained that COTA passengers waiting for transfers near Broad and High streets, and buses lining the curbs make the area less attractive for retail stores and their customers.

    READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/11/02/all-those-buses-and-riders-bad-for-business.html?sid=101

    #361844

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    I think it’s a bit of an over-generalization to say that the transit-dependent riders don’t buy anything downtown and the choice riders do. I’d at least like to see some data to back that up.

    I’m not opposed to the meter idea, but it seems to me that COTA is probably delivering a whole lot more people to High Street than you could reasonably expect to park at meters during a day.

    #361845
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Agreed on the over-generalization. It sounds like we’re dealing with multiple issues here and multiple solutions. Hopefully some research will be done to see how it all should shake out.

    I agree that an improved bus structure for the folks waiting to transfer at Broad & High would be a vast improvement over letting them sit out in the cold at the Statehouse. And to some extent that’s being addressed (though I’m not convinced that it will be enough shelter space during peak usage hours).

    I also agree that giving the curb lane back to on-street metered parking along High Street will assist with the ease of access for retailers.

    I disagree with the generalization that people waiting on buses is inherently a deterrent to business. There may be some racial/class factors for some people at certain stops that causes intimidation or worry from some people, but it’s rare to see real problems being caused to regular passers-by. Certainly the bus stops in the Short North aren’t a deterrent to retail in the area. Same for OSU.

    I also don’t really don’t think too many buses or bus stops need to be removed from High. As some COTA officials said in that article, that’s where people want to go. I think the bus stops work pretty well in the Short North (albeit a bit slow, which could be adjusted) where you have a mix of metered parking and bus stop areas.

    At first I thought this bus station opportunity seemed like a pretty good idea, but the more I think about it the more I’m convinced that all of the problems identified with the current configuration can be addressed with alternative fixes that will be much cheaper too.

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