Albany Transit System Director David Hamilton discusses proposed changes to the system's bus routes during a hearing Friday at the city's transit facility on West Oglethorpe Boulevard. (April 26, 2013)
ALBANY, Ga. -- After a public hearing called to discuss proposed changes to the Albany Transit System's bus routes failed to generate a lot of interest, Transit Director David Hamilton decided to "take the hearing to the riders."
A steady stream of transit patrons came by the transit depot at West Oglethorpe Boulevard on Friday to discuss the system's routes during a pair of two-hour sessions that Hamilton called very successful.
"One of the participants who came to our public hearing actually suggested taking our proposal to the riders, and we thought it was an excellent idea," Hamilton said. "We've had folks coming through here all day, and they've offered some good suggestions.
"In fact, we'll tweak our proposals before implementing them to include some of the suggestions that were made."
Among the changes being considered by the Transit System is implementing a new route to medical facilities on Meredyth Drive and adding a "Yellow Line" route to help lessen overcrowded conditions on the system's "Brown Line" route to the Albany Mall.
"We have to consider best use of our existing fleet of buses," Hamilton said. "We'd like to add the route to Meredyth by May 27, so our staff is going to have to ride the route to identify stops so we can estimate the times. We have buses being refurbished, so we may have to bring the other route online later. This will be an ongoing process."
Hamilton said the route changes are being proposed to increase Transit System efficiency and to save costs on the system's tight budget.
"It's also just something we need to do," the transit director said. "The routes our buses take have been the same for the last 10-15 years. There's been a lot of development in the city in that time, so we need to establish routes that better cater to that development."