New Capital Transit plan boosts Mendenhall Valley bus service

Capital Transit provides between 4,000-4,500 passenger rides each week day. (Photo by Kelli Burkinshaw/KTOO)

Capital Transit provides between 4,000-4,500 passenger rides each week day. (Photo by Kelli Burkinshaw.)

Bus service on Riverside Drive in Juneau’s Mendenhall Valley could start by midsummer, if city officials adopt a new Capital Transit plan.

Valley buses also would be rolling 30 minutes earlier each day.

The bus system has been under review for nearly a year and the 2014 Transit Development Plan is now complete.  The CBJ Planning Commission is expected to adopt it Tuesday night.  The Assembly will take it up next month.

Passengers have been asking for earlier and additional service in the Mendenhall Valley since Thunder Mountain High School was built.

Capital Transit Superintendent John Kern says continued growth along Riverside Drive is the impetus behind the proposal for expanded service.

“We did evaluate bus service for the school, again for the pool, and now we’ve got a library going in there,” Kern says. “I think it’s just a matter of the sheer magnitude of facilities on that location, requiring better service.”  

Due to budget constraints, there are tradeoffs. If Riverside Drive is added to the system, bus service on Back Loop Road and North Douglas Highway would be reduced.  Ridership is lower along those routes.

Kern says bus fares would not increase with the new service.

The Capital Transit study began last spring and included a number of public meetings.  Kern says it’s not too late to take public comments on the final proposal.

Recent headlines

  • An Alaska Airlines plane at Juneau International Airport.

    Alaska Airlines pilots plan picket over lack of compensation

    Alaska Airlines pilots have reached a breaking point in negotiations with the company, and now have plans to picket outside Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. The pilots plan to picket starting at 1 p.m. Monday outside the airport in Anchorage.
  • Obadiah Jenkins tries to help Daniel Hartung pull himself from Six-Mile Creek in Hope. (Photo courtesy James Bennett)

    Homer resident saves kayaker’s life on Six-Mile Creek

    Jenkins was taking a practice run through the class four rapids when a bystander filming the event, noticed another participant, Daniel Hartung, 64, of Indian Valley, flipped out of his kayak and became pinned under a log.
  • Vigor Alaska Shipyard Development director Doug Ward talks with Marine Transportation advisory board member Greg Wakefield inside the not-quite-finished Alaska Class ferry Tazlina. (Photo by Leila Kheiry/KRBD)

    Alaska class ferry Tazlina on track at Ketchikan shipyard

    The Tazlina is the first of two new Alaska Class ferries that the Ketchikan Vigor Alaska shipyard is building for the state. Its two halves are complete and welded together, and shipyard workers are busy getting interior spaces done.
  • The Matanuska sits in drydock for maintenance.

    Fall-winter-spring ferry bookings begin

    The Alaska Marine Highway is taking reservations for October through April sailings. The schedule changed so the Matanuska can get new engines.
X