Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Draft RTA Plans - Part 1

A draft transit plan from the Dane County RTA (three parts):


(12/21/10 Draft for Discussion Only)

A. THE WHAT- Scope of Regional Transit Services

While Dane County is one of the brightest stars in Wisconsin’s economy and is one of the fastest growing regions in the state, its transportation network is fragmented and lacks transit options that would benefit the region economically.

The goal of the Plan for Transit is to lay out the framework for an interconnected transportation network that focuses on improving the transit system on a regional level. The plan must be dynamic, adapting to changes in demographics and changes in development patterns that occur over time.

The transit system of Dane County’s future must be fully integrated into other modes of transportation, making a seamless connection for users whether they enter or exit the transit system on foot, by bicycle, from an automobile or as an airline passenger. The transit system must be cost effective and convenient for all users. We envision the transit system improving its service to passengers who rely completely on transit for mobility as well as those who choose transit for various reasons.

Building such a system will take time and improvements will need to be phased in over time. This Plan for Transit is broken into three phases of development. Phase 1 will focus on the immediate improvements needed for the system that would be operational within one year of adopting the plan by approval of a referendum. Phase 2 incorporates improvements that would be operational within two years of plan adoption. Phase 3 consists of long term improvements that require much additional study and further fiscal analysis before moving forward.

Phase 1

Expanded Local and Express Bus Service in the Dane County Regional Transit Authority Service Area.

Bus service is the primary form of transit within the region and will continue as the predominate form into the foreseeable future. Current service serves Madison residents fairly well with service in neighboring communities very limited.

• Regional Express Bus Service

Cost Range: $2,500,000 to $3,000,000

Phase 1 improvements would begin to address these shortcomings by providing new express bus service between Madison and seven neighboring communities: Sun Prairie, Waunakee, Westport, Verona, Fitchburg, McFarland and Stoughton. Service would consist of peak hour service with up to six buses between Madison and each community, depending on demand.

• Expanded Service Between Madison and Adjacent Communities

Cost Range: $1,500,000 to $2,000,000

Service between Madison and its immediate neighbors would be improved during Phase 1. Service between Madison and Monona, Cottage Grove, Middleton and Fitchburg would be expanded, allowing commuters in those communities better transit choices. New service would include half hour service during peak periods and hourly service throughout the day.

• Improved Service Within Current Metro Service Territory

Cost: $2,500,000 to $3,000,000

Madison Metro has several service deficiencies as a result of costs of service rising more rapidly than revenues. As a result, many commuters find themselves missing connections or experiencing inconveniences through delays and sub-optimal routes. Improvements in the core service area would benefit all riders by providing better connections and transfers.

Improvements would consist of increasing bus frequencies on three core routes (2,4 and 6) with 15 minute headways until 6:30 p.m.

Restored service from previous reductions includes increasing frequency of service on route 4, upgrading route 7 to route 3 on weekends and holidays and improving routes 16 and 18 so there will be significantly better coordination with arrivals at transfer points to facilitate transfers.

• Network of Strategically Located Park & Ride Lots

Cost: $18,225,000 capital, $750,000 (annual operating)

Note: Assumes 15 ‘typical’ park-and-ride locations throughout RTA area.


There are three well-used park-and-ride lots that are integrated with the existing transit system. The City of Madison operates the 167-stall North Transfer Point and 10-stall North Town Center (at the Northport and Sherman intersection) lots, while the State of Wisconsin operates the 227-stall Dutch Mill site (on East Broadway, near the interchange of the Beltline and Highway 51/Stoughton Road). In addition to fixed route transit, intercity buses currently serve the NTP and Dutch Mill sites. It should be noted that there are also numerous locations around the metro area where suburban drivers park near bus stops and utilize transit to reach their destination. Within Dane County, the State also operates seven peripheral park-and-ride lots that are not connected to the transit network. These facilitate primarily informal reverse-commuting and car pooling.


The RTA will coordinate with WisDOT, the UW, MATC, and major employers on siting, developing, and operating up to 15 park & ride lots along major travel corridors near the edge of the metro area (ideally in conjunction with mixed use development) in addition to improving / expanding operations at existing park & ride sites. Planned or potential locations include:

• Highway 14 corridor near the Beltline in Middleton

• Near the Middleton Springs Shopping Center in Middleton

• Mineral Point Road west of the Beltline (in the vicinity of Pleasant View Road or Junction Road)

• Near the West Transfer Point and South Transfer Points

• Along the Fish Hatchery Road and Highway 14 corridors in Fitchburg

• Along Highway 51 in McFarland and Stoughton

• Cottage Grove Road near Grandview Commons

• Interstate 94 at Highway N (north of Cottage Grove)

• In the vicinity of Highways 19 and 151 in Sun Prairie

• Near the I-39/90/94 interchange with Highway 19 in Deforest

• Along Highway 113 near Waunakee.

To maximize utilization of the parking lots and transit system, it is necessary to link the transit and parking policies of the University of Wisconsin and other major employers and agencies.

Link to map showing potential and planned park & ride sites: http://www.madisonareampo.org/planning/documents/ParknRideUrban_Page.pdf

• Improved Elderly and Disabled Service

Cost: T.B.D.


Metro provides paratransit service on a demand responsive, advance reservation basis for persons who are unable to use Metro’s regular fixed-route service. Persons must be certified as eligible to receive the service in accordance with guidelines established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Service is provided within three-quarters of a mile on each side of regular routes, excluding commuter routes, and is provided during the same hours that the fixed-routes operate. The service is provided door-to-door or curb-to-curb, depending upon the passenger’s needs. Metro provides directly operated service on weekdays, but contracts with private providers for weeknight and weekend service and other service that it does not have the capacity to handle.

The City of Monona contracts with a private provider for service, called Monona Lift, which is designed for the elderly and persons with disabilities, but is also available to the general public. The service is a point deviation system with scheduled stops at fixed checkpoints along a general route. Buses deviate up to three-quarters of a mile from the general route between the checkpoints to pick up/drop off elderly and disabled passengers with an advance reservation.

The Federal Transit Administration does not require ADA paratransit services to be provided in conjunction with certain types of fixed-route services, including commuter service. Nevertheless, it is Metro’s longstanding practice to maintain a fairly comprehensive paratransit service area.


Metro Transit is currently systematically evaluating the costs associated with increasing elderly and disabled transportation services. Over time, the RTA will assess whether to expand the service area to, for example, one mile of fixed route service.

• Improved Shared Ride Taxi Service

Cost: T.B.D.


Shared-ride taxi service is a form of door-to-door, demand-responsive transit (i.e., no set routes or schedules) similar to the familiar taxicab service. The difference is that with shared-ride service, passengers with different origins and/or destinations may be transported simultaneously. Shared-ride taxi systems operate with scheduled service hours and days of operation. Requests for service may be made upon demand or up to 24 hours in advance. Subscription trips are accepted, but are purposely limited to ensure on-demand service.

Shared-ride taxi service is the best way to provide transit service in outlying, lower-density areas that have not been designed for efficient transit service and where there is ample free parking. Currently, the Cities of Marshall, Sun Prairie and Stoughton contract with private providers for this service, although Marshall is not located within the RTA service area.


In Phase 1, this demand-responsive service will be offered to areas (communities and neighborhoods) currently lacking fixed-route transit service, at least into the early evening hours. Some communities, such as Verona, are already studying how the shared-ride taxi model could be used as a feeder service to a commuter bus route.

Future phases?

Link to map showing types of transit service: http://www.madisonareampo.org/maps/documents/SERVICES.PDF

1 comment:

  1. Glen Beck showed on his chalk board how this is still just a part of George Soros' plan to have trains fake global warming data.

    Seriously, thank you for the information.