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Waco looking at new ‘rapid transit’ lines for bus service

Waco looking at new ‘rapid transit’ lines for bus service

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The public will get a first look Tuesday at a sweeping reorganization of Waco public transportation that would create a central trunk line for “bus rapid transit” in hopes of shortening commutes.

The city of Waco will hold an open house on the Waco Downtown Transportation Study at the Ranger Room of the Waco Convention Center, 100 Washington Ave. The meetings will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The city used a federal grant to hire consultant CDM Smith for the study in an effort to improve mobility within “Greater Downtown.”

The study has not been released yet, but Waco Transit General Manager John Hendrickson said it would mean the end of the current hub-and-spoke system that typically requires riders to take a trip downtown and transfer to another line.

Instead, “neighborhood collector” lines would feed into the central trunk line, which would head from Bellmead to Hewitt Drive, roughly following Franklin Avenue.

Traffic controls would be used to allow buses on the main trunk to move faster.

Hendrickson said the proposal would require the city to expand its bus fleet from 10 to about 15, but it would pay off in significantly faster trips and more ridership.

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