Why Does It Matter?
More consideration of effective land use would make public transit options more efficient.
It's important for all community members to be able to get to work efficiently and on time, no matter what transportation method is used. The more easily people can get to and from their job, the more time they are able to spend with their families, friends, and neighbors. Additionally, efficient public transit commutes allow those who depend on it to better navigate urgent situations.
The Heartland 2050 Regional Transit Vision describes 5 keys to successful transit including:
- Land use: Transit works best in areas with large numbers of people who travel for work, entertainment, and retail.
- Frequency: Buses arriving every 15 minutes on a consistent basis improves predictability and ridership.
- Timeliness: Fewer stops decreases ride time for passengers.
- Coverage: Serve as much area as possible, but have an emphasis on the most productive areas.
If the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro were to have more efficient, accessible transportation, we could see an increase in transit ridership. Efforts have begun to increase the efficiency of the Metro system, including the development of the first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system on Dodge Street. The system is expected to cut 16 minutes of vehicle travel time from Westroads Mall to downtown. It is projected to increase economic development by $450 million and generate 1,350 new residents along the corridor. Additionally, it’s anticipated to provide $2.4 million in reduced greenhouse gas emissions, a reduction in congestion, enhanced water quality, and fewer traffic accidents. The BRT expects to begin running in the fall of 2018 with an expected design and construction cost of $30.6 million.