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Cville Council: CAT Route Changes, Park & School Upgrades - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Cville Council: CAT Route Changes, Park & School Upgrades

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You may soon spend less time sitting on a bus getting from downtown Charlottesville to Fashion Square Mall. City Council approved changes Monday night that are expected to shave off ride times.

Council approved plans to implement a new Charlottesville Area Transit bus route, and decided in a 5-0 vote to make some changes to existing Route 7.

Council voted to add a new line that would provide a more direct route from downtown to Fashion Square Mall. When implemented, the new line - Route 11 - will cut down ride times by 20 minutes.  Route 11 will run Monday through Friday from about 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. It will also run for part of the day on Saturday. 

There are also changes coming for Route 7 that will reroute it from University Avenue to Jefferson Park Avenue because of congestion.

The public addressed these changes Monday night, some urging council to collect more input from the riders.

"I would definitely support the new line 11 as it is, but I would urge you not to approve the line 7 as it stands without public consultation," said Adam Lees, who lives in Charlottesville.

Nancy Carpenter, who also lives in Charlottesville, said, "I would hope the goals of moving people to educational opportunities to work opportunities and to retail opportunities will persuade you to use the money you may be saving from the Route 7 changes to fully fund this expanded schedule."

City Council also decided Monday night to back bonds to help a private school upgrade its campus. Saint Anne's Belfield plans to expand and renovate a dining hall and student commons facilities and improve roads on the upper school campus.

Charlottesville's economic development director says the city's support will help STAB get up to $15 million in tax-exempt financing for the projects, at no cost to city taxpayers. As part of the approval, council urges STAB to hire local help for the project.

Also on Monday's agenda: Tonsler Park is one step closer to getting the green light for a $100,000 makeover. The city plans to match a grant from the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation. Those funds will pay for a basketball court replacement and new lighting in the park.

Council will make the final decision about the makeover at its next meeting.  

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