As a scheduler for Metro Transit for nearly 30 years, I was happy to see past mayors aligned to keep bus rapid transit off State Street. Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway would be wise to notice. If her position prevails, it’s a mistake the city will be stuck with for 30 years. It’s time to move on. Either now or 2050.
The city needs to think big, and routing BRT buses on State Street and the Capitol Square is not the kind of innovation needed if BRT is to succeed. At a BRT seminar 30 years ago the lead presenter instructed: “Make your routes as straight as possible and run your buses like trains.” Trains don’t detour. The former mayors were absolutely correct in pointing out that the 70 annual odd detours will bastardize the service, a problem for all passengers but especially for disabled folks who absolutely rely entirely on consistent service.
I think Metro Transit head Justin Stuehrenberg’s suggestion to “center-lane” BRT service on East Washington Avenue represents the kind of "thinking big" idea and vision BRT needs. Don’t do it on the cheap (or lazy). Do it right.
Let State Street and the Square continue to evolve.
Colin Conn, Cross Plains