National transit survey taps into Charlotte needs

(by Melissa Key, Charlotte Business Journal)

"It’s easy to say but harder to accomplish: Get people where they want to go when they want to go and be on time. Transit users across the country, in a national survey released this month, made known their preferences for buses, trains and other public transportation that runs frequently, has dedicated tracks or lanes and can be reached with safe, comfortable walks within a mile of the stops and stations...

'One of the key takeaways is that there are a lot of ingredients in this report that are important in order to (build) a useful transit system,' said Shannon Binns, executive director of Sustain Charlotte, a nonprofit that focuses on combining economic, environmental and social concerns to improve quality of life. 'A lot of things they recognize as necessary ingredients are missing right now in Charlotte. And that makes it clear why we don’t have more transit use.'

Binns sees cause for optimism in the differences between the report and what Charlotte transit offers. The reason: He likes the pledge already made by city transit system CEO John Lewis Jr. to re-work local bus routes over the next year to improve efficiency and access.

Beyond that, Binns and other transit boosters are encouraged by recent statements from business executives and political leaders about making a much more concerted effort to hone a detailed transit plan for future expansion — and funding."

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