Public meetings this week on Capital Transit plan

A Capital Transit bus waits at Juneau’s downtown transit center.

The capital city’s bus system wants to hear from you – whether you ride the bus every day, or have never been aboard.

Over the last few months, CBJ-operated Capital Transit has been updating its five-year Transit Development Plan.

So far, the study shows the current system has high ridership, general passenger satisfaction as well as a number of challenges.  Some of those include crowded buses, too much service to areas with low demand, and not enough to parts of the borough where demand is higher.

Transportation planning company Nelson Nygaard is working on the transit plan. Consultant Paul Lutey says an evaluation of Capital Transit and public comments indicate several issues to be addressed.

“Those are largely related to operational issues. Making sure that the buses are running on schedule, and a few other little tweaks like getting the express route to the downtown transit center and a little bit further into downtown, but also to serve some new areas that we heard some demand for, like Riverside Drive, like Costco and Home Depot,” Lutey says.

Lutey and others working on the study will explain several scenarios for service and have maps of the proposals at meetings Tuesday and Wednesday.

Geoff Slater is also with Nelson Nygaard.  He says the next phase of the plan is to develop alternatives for the future.

“This is a combination of us determining what would work well for the system, but it also has to do with local priorities.  So what we want to do is match up what really will work best for the system and what’s most important for people. That’s really the point of the meetings.  We do have different options on ways to do things and we want to do the one that works the best and would be the best received,” Slater says.

Tuesday’s meeting is from 4:30 to 6:30 at the Mendenhall Valley Library in Mendenhall Mall.  There’s another meeting on Wednesday at the downtown library, also from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

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