The way people catch a Transpo bus will soon be changing. A new system featuring designated stops will replace the flag system by the end of the year.
People got a chance to learn more about the switch during a public meeting Tuesday morning. Transpo general manager David Cangany detailed the way the designated stops will work throughout South Bend and Mishawaka.
Currently, riders can simply flag down a bus at any point along a route. Cangany said that leads to delays and inefficiencies.
There were some frequent riders that quickly got on board with the proposed changes.
“I live on Lincolnway and if we had one step that would be good,” Jeanine Rozum said. “Maybe that would help get the buses on time and make your connections.”
The designated stop system would mean that riders would gather at specific locations along routes and the buses would only stop at those places. According to Transpo officials, that would allow for more predictability about when buses would be arriving to each part of town.
More than 1700 requests for stops were submitted to Transpo, Cangany said. Staff narrowed that number down to 1100.
“You may have to walk a block or so but we are going to make it safe for you,” Cangany said.
But, there are those who value the ability to catch a bus at locations that are convenient for them as individuals. For instance, Barbara Karay lives at Riverview 500 in Mishawaka and said many of her neighbors catch the bus right in front of their building.
“I’m concerned because there are 113 people in my building and they are primarily elderly and handicapped,” Karay said. “Now, the stop is going to be changed so we have to walk several hundred feet.”
Cangany said that there may be some changes to the proposed routes as they prepare to put up the bus stop signs. The new system will not be put in place until the end of the calendar year.
There are also plans to use GPS tracking to allow riders to look up bus arrival times on their cell phones.