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CAT Listens to Public On Transportation Improvements - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

CAT Listens to Public On Transportation Improvements

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Charlottesville bus riders had a chance to weigh in on some potentially major changes to bus routes Monday night. The Charlottesville Area Transit System (CAT) held a meeting at CitySpace, to get public feedback on how it can provide better service.

Route 4 dominated much of the conversation Monday evening. Transit leaders were very candid, admitting that those particular stops are causing too much confusion.

Before a room full of avid bus riders, CAT managers say simplicity may be the answer to fixing bus issues, especially when it comes to Route 4.

Juwhan Lee, the assistant operations manager with CAT, said, "The schedule is confusing there are certain neighborhoods that it goes into twice. There are certain stretches of roads that it serves three times in one loop. It's confusing for the public to figure out where the bus is and when it's coming."

Currently, Route 4 serves the University of Virginia Hospital, Fry's Spring, and downtown. Under the proposed adjustment it would serve additional areas including JPA Extended and Maury Avenue.

Andrea Wieder lives in Fry's Spring and wants to see better access to neighborhood supermarkets. "When I first moved here in 2002, you could take the [Route] 4 over to get some food at the Food Lion and you could get back, but you can no longer do that. You have to travel all the way downtown, get another bus and travel all the way on that bus and then back," she explained.

But Wieder is also concerned about the expansion of service to connect Fry's Spring to trolley and UVA routes.

"If this route on the trolley were extended, it would inconvenience 999,000 people per year, whose travel time would be increased by 10 to 15 minutes," she said.

No decisions were made during the meeting. Leaders say it's just a way for them to streamline CAT's number one goal. "It's all about getting better service to the public," said Lee.

 The transit system will use Monday night's feedback to draft a proposal to present to the city council on October 22.

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