Long Term Transportation Plan aims to improve public transportation

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization approved the Long Range Transportation Plan 2045 on Wednesday. One of the biggest focuses of the plan is to make public transportation within the region better.

Ann Mallek, a member of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors representing the White Hall District, said as Charlottesville grows, so does the need for transportation systems to grow and improve.

"We have about 30,000 people who come into Charlottesville/Albemarle to work and others from here go out to work every day,” said Mallek. “So there's a big migration both ways because of that and our roadways are suffering because of that."

She said one of the ways commuting transit could improve is through a better public transportation system.

"A big focus on transit has really been more over the last 10 years,” said Mallek. “And we're beginning to work on commuter bus lines from both the northern and western parts of the county, and to improve the bus coordination of CAT, the Charlottesville City Bus."

Although the plan was approved at the meeting, the Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) brought up concerns about needing more public input on transit improvements.

Micahel Drexel rides the CAT bus every day to work and he says a major improvement for him would be not having to walk 30 minutes to a bus stop.

"The biggest one for me would probably be having more bus stops closer into neighborhoods,” said Drexel, “because I live by Mill Creek all the way over by Monticello High School and the closest bus stop to that is Fifth Street Station, so there's a bit of walking."

The 2045 plan does add a new bus route to go through Mill Creek and adds four other bus routes through the city and out to the county.

Ckalib Nelson hopes that technology will also improve with the new routes.

"If I were to give one piece of feedback, it would be to get a more accurate GPS on their app,” said Nelson. “Every morning, I wake up and look at the app, I see how far away it is, but sometimes when it says it's four minutes, it's like one minute away."

The MPO hopes to get more public input so it knows how to adapt plans to people’s needs. The next CTAC meeting where citizens can give their input will be July 16.

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