WTA is investing more and more resources to keep routes on time because of traffic congestion and other challenges. These are resources that could otherwise be used to expand service. This study will review how WTA can improve speed and reliability on key corridors, as well the potential for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). BRT is a premium service that includes increased frequency and features to improve speed and efficiency. This study will also consider how local land use decisions can fuel the success of frequent transit service, including BRT.
WTA has made significant investments in operations to ensure schedule adherence on routes 232 and 331 due to increasing degradation in travel times. Growth in congestion and other challenges make continual operational investments unsustainable. This study will assess the viability of speed and reliability improvements in two corridors and the potential for bus rapid transit (BRT) in each. The study will also consider potential changes in land use plans to better support more frequent transit service.
Ridership is strong on the Gold, Green and Blue Go Lines. Routes that make up these Go Lines constitute nearly 60% (2.57 million boardings) of the total system ridership (4.45 million boardings) with Western Washington University generating the highest ridership demand of any destination in Bellingham. Both corridors may be suited to BRT; however, implementing BRT within both corridors is challenging from a funding and resource allocation standpoint for WTA. The outcome of the study will be analysis enabling WTA to pursue local, state and/or federal funding for the selected corridor.