With help from a $1 million federal grant, the Transit Authority of River City altered its bus services that will supplement two of its busiest routes.
The service changes start Monday, and will add buses to routes 18 (Preston and Dixie Highways) and 23 (Broadway and Bardstown) that will result in them running every 15 minutes from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays. The weekend services will also see an improvement, with buses running every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Those two lines represent about 20 percent of TARC’s ridership and is a much needed boost to the city’s frail public transportation system. There were also The additional services were authorized by TARC officials last November after a series of public meeting and are being funded with a grant provided by the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program of the U.S. Transportation Department.
In a 2010 state of housing report, the Metropolitan Housing Coalition called for more funding of TARC in its recommendation of local policy, citing “an aging population will no longer be able to rely solely on private automobiles for transportation.”
Last year, the public transit provider cut a number of routes to help fill a projected $5.5 million revenue shortfall that resulted in a fierce public response and a brief debate about finding alternative means to fund the city’s busing system. There were few immediate solutions for TARC’s beleaguered budget, and at the time many were arguing it was a signal for renewing a long-term vision and commitment to public transportation services.