Greenlink will make the first significant improvements to its routes and stops in decades when it implements a series of route changes on Monday, July 1. The changes are recommendations from the Comprehensive Operations Analysis (COA), an eight-month study conducted by the Atlanta-based firm Connetics Transportation Group for Greenville Transit Authority (GTA) in 2017.
The study was funded through a public-private partnership between the City of Greenville, Greenville County, and the Piedmont Health Foundation and its purpose was to identify strengths and areas for improvement and provide suggestions to improve efficiency and increase ridership while remaining revenue neutral. Three noteworthy findings from the study include: 1) Greenlink uses its limited resources more efficiently than its peers as evidenced by its low cost per peak vehicle, cost per revenue hour, and cost per revenue mile; 2) with the restriction of remaining revenue neutral, the best way to impact service efficiency is to offer bidirectional routes, whereby the bus services both sides of the road, rather than loop routes; and 3) Greenlink’s maintenance facility is too small to adequately serve the system.
After careful analysis of service delivery options, the consultants recommended that Greenlink’s network:
- Continue to operate a pulse system, with all buses arriving and departing from the Transit Center at the same time, due to the fact that 83% of transfers are occurring cross-town
- Continue to operate at the 60-minute frequency, as financial resources do not allow for higher frequency service at this time
- Convert loop routes into bidirectional routes where it is possible to do so without degrading service
The proposed network was evaluated to determine how it would improve Greenlink service:
- The proposed network is expected to increase bidirectional route miles by 63%
- The revised routes will result in a 7% reduction in the service area footprint; however, only 2% of existing Greenlink riders are using the stops in the areas losing service
- There will be a 50% increase in the number of route connections outside of downtown Greenville
- On-time performance is expected to improve
According to George Campbell, chair of the GTA Board of Directors, making improvements to the Greenlink system is the top priority for GTA. “Our bus routes haven’t changed in years. We recognized that our system needed an update and redesigning the routes will have the biggest impact on efficiency without increasing operational costs.”
New bus route maps and schedules are available at RideGreenlink.com/BusRouteChanges. The new routes can also be viewed on the FindGreenlink smartphone app and at TrackGreenlink.com. Printed route maps will be available at the dispatch booth inside the Transit Center (100 W. McBee Avenue).
In conjunction with the route changes, Greenlink is also announcing the launch of a new monthly pass product with the TouchPass system. Beginning July 1, customers will be able to use the reloadable TouchPass smart card or the smartphone app to purchase a 31-day unlimited ride pass for $50 (full fare); $42 (student/youth fare); or $25 (senior/Medicare/disability fare).
# # #
Marketing and Public Affairs Manager