In 2019, HSC launched its Empowering Citizens for Equitable Public Transit project to provide opportunities for residents to have input on their local public transit system. Each community or neighborhood has unique public transit needs based on its demographics, geographical location and level of existing bus service. We believe these unique needs are best understood by the people who reside in that community.
In Phase 1, HSC worked with the Better Bus Coalition to engage with residents of four communities that have a high number of economically disadvantaged residents: Winton Hills, Avondale, Walnut Hills, and the Mt. Healthy area. Our goal was to understand residents’ concerns with Metro service and to identify and advocate for the most important public transit improvements that are needed in each community.
Based on the feedback we received from personal interviews, community conversations and over 800 survey responses, we learned that the most important improvements bus riders and non-bus riders want across all of these communities are: frequency and timeliness of service, shorter travel times, bus stops closer to their homes and destinations, and more bus shelters. Other recommendations include:
- Make free or discounted bus passes available for residents of public housing;
- Increase options for riders without phone or internet access to purchase bus passes;
- Increase frequency on weekend routes;
- Ensure that drivers treat people with walkers or wheelchairs with more patience;
- Install lighting at bus stops;
- More routes to job centers and Uptown medical facilities;
- Reassess the removal of bus stops near locations where seniors and people with disabilities frequent;
- Allow children 5 and under to ride for free;
- Provide easier access on the bus to parents with strollers.
We are currently in the process of planning for the launch of Phase 2 later this year. Phase 2, funded by the Seasongood Foundation, will engage residents of Mt. Airy, Mt. Washington, Delhi Township, Lincoln Heights and Springdale.