Last fall, the City of Asheville Transportation Department began working with the public to develop a new Transit Master Plan for the ART bus system. The Transit Master Plan serves as a guide on topics such as how and where ART will provide transit service. Further, it is designed to ensure safe, convenient and accessible public transportation for all residents, workers and visitors to the Asheville area.
City Council unanimously approved the plan during its July 24 meeting.
“This plan represents a major step forward for the transit system,” said City Transit Planning Manager Elias Mathes. “The later service hours and increased service frequency will be a huge benefit to current riders, and will help bring new riders into the system. The end result will be more convenient and reliable public transportation, with shorter wait times and an expanded service area.”
Riders can expect:
- Later evening service, with most routes running until 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and some routes running until midnight on main corridors. Sunday and holiday service will run until 8 p.m. on all routes.
- Greater service frequency, with the goal of 15-minute frequency on main corridors and 30-minute frequency on most routes.
- New crosstown and interlined routes will provide the option of single-seat rides through downtown, and will reduce the need to transfer between routes.
- Additional new routes will provide service to areas of the City and Buncombe County that currently do not have service.
- Significant expansion of the size of the bus fleet to reduce service interruptions due to mechanical issues.
- A plan to transition the fleet to zero-emission electric vehicles over the next 10-12 years.
Service changes are expected to be implemented in July 2019. City Staff will begin preparing for the changes immediately, and the first new buses to the fleet should arrive in January 2019.
Look for more information available about service changes later in the fall, as well as community workshops to help design new maps and schedules.
To view the full Transit Master Plan, visit AshevilleNC.gov/TransitMasterPlan.