We have been visiting the coolest places for Transit on Tap including Schulz Brau, Alliance Brewing and Remedy Coffee. If I could summarize a general theme from the question “I’d ride the bus more if…” it’s improved technology, in particular around smart phones. Because we use our phones for information, for paying for services, etc., and because many people no longer carry cash, providing information and fare payments via smart phones would greatly improve ease of transit use. Some details of that theme, along with other comments we received, are described below:
First off, we LOVE Schulz Brau! What a fun place with great folks and a fabulous beer garden. Plus, it was an easy walk to the bus shelter right at the corner after our meeting ended. We heard a great suggestion of a reloadable fare card. Being able to add money/trips, etc. to your fare card – especially from your phone if possible – would be an improvement for a lot of people who don’t carry cash. Credit options on ticket kiosks would be an improvement as well.
Transit information on smart phones – in particular when the bus will be arriving in real time – would be a huge benefit as well.
More on-street information and maps at major stops, along with electronic real-time bus arrival information would also be useful. Good frequencies – like 15 minute service on core routes, were considered ideal. The Blue Line Trolley was not useful to one person who left work at 5:00 to try to make the :15 after lineup at Knoxville Station.
Other comments listed on our “I’d ride the bus more if..” sign:
- I’d ride more if I felt safer waiting for the bus late at night.
- I’d ride the bus more if there were earlier times and time extensions
- I’d ride the bus more if there were more convenient transfer stations to decrease commute time
Fun place! We saw so many people biking along Sevier Avenue – it was great to see so much alternative commuting going on. Our discussions at Alliance centered on the fact that the neighborhoods just don’t think about, or have a general lack of awareness about transit. For many in those neighborhoods with small children, transit is impossible because of a lack of daycare options downtown. Many work downtown or at UT, but having to drop off for day care creates a transit barrier.
We naturally picked a morning when Makers Doughnuts was open. Goodness, but those were some delicious doughnuts. And the Remedy Coffee was an outstanding compliment. Great place with a great vibe. At Remedy, we heard again about technology – how no one in a younger generation carries cash, and all transactions are done via phone. Transit should improve to keep up with that – both in paying your fare as well as obtaining information about where the bus is. Everything in one place on my smart phone.
We also talked about the concept of ‘transportation literacy’ – the basics of how to ride the bus, that people know what their options are, and that a block from a bus stop still means that you have transit access. Sometimes people feel like if the bus isn’t right at their front door, they don’t have service. How do we incorporate the walking as part of explaining the trip?
The best thing we did at Remedy was leave our “I’d Ride the Bus more If…” whiteboard behind, along with a pen. We came back the next day, and here’s some of what we saw written:
I’d ride the bus more if….
- More stops in NE Knoxville
- There was a direct bus from Old N Knox to campus
- There was an express bus from the transit station to west Knox/Cedar Bluff
- There was Wi-Fi and a plug for me to plug in my laptop
- If it was electric
- If there was an app to tell you where the bus is
- If it rode to happiness.
We think that last one could be true!
Next up: Crafty Bastard (10/26) and K-Brew on Broadway (10/28).