Wolff: County Wide Transportation Plan Won't Be All About Mass Transit

posted by 1200 WOAI - 

County Judge Nelson Wolff, who, in cooperation with Mayor Nirenberg and a committee appointed earlier this summer, will release a major county wide transportation initiative next year, says people should think beyond traditional mass transit, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Wolff says the plan will include utilization of numerous types of transportation, including those new 'dockless scooters' which have become such a rage downtown.

"There's the ride share, there's the Uber, there's Lyft, there is ride share, there is vans, there's the scooter and the rental bike thing, there are so many different ways of getting people around today," Wolff told News Radio 1200 WOAI.

Several previous attempts at coming up with an integrated county-wide transportation plan have failed due to voter distrust of traditional mass transit options.  Nirenberg has already said that the plan will not include light rail, which was decisively defeated by the voters in an election in 2000, but could include what are called 'trackless trains, a new form of transit which is becoming very popular in Asia.

But Wolff says any plan also has to keep in mind the desires and convenience of the citizens.  He points to continued problems convincing middle class commuters to use VIA buses.

"Too often we see big buses running down the street with nobody in them," Wolff said.  "There has to be a better way to do things than we are doing today."

Wolff says the issue, which will go to the voters next year, will also focus on the skyrocketing cost of owning and operating an automobile, as a way to convince people to want to get out of their cards, not force them to.

"It costs roughly, give or take, $5,000 a year to $10,000 a year to own a vehicle and operate it," Wolff said.

One idea that may be floated; touting those 'dockless scooters' which are in use downtown as one way to get from the bust station to your eventual destination.

Transportation officials say what they call 'The Last Mile' is a main reason why many people don't take the bus, because they have to walk, sometimes down an access road or a busy street, to get to where they are going.

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