Madison Metro Transit reflects on first week with new routes
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - From answering calls to riding alongside passengers, the City of Madison’s Metro Transit Network Redesign completed its first week.
Interim Chief Development Officer Mick Rusch says there is nothing glaring they need to fix in the next two weeks but noted that with time there will be adjustments.
“We are going to see how everything operates when UW comes back to session in the fall and we’ll have lots more traffic on the road,” Rusch said.
The phone was off the hook for the first few days last week at the Metro Transit call center. “Sunday the 11th, we shot up to 682 total and then Monday, we shot up to 1,412. The last two days, the 13th and 14th, we’ve been just over 1,000,” said Customer Service Supervisor Jeremy Olson.
Being in Madison his entire life, Olson knows the routes like the back of his hand. He answered to the most asked question last week about the new routes.
“These routes...I’ve been telling people they’re more like individual based,” he said. “When we have someone asking, we just be like ‘where are you starting, whether it be an intersection or an address and where are you going to get to the destination?’”
Rusch says ride guides are the reason calls were down in the second half of the week.
“That helped the drivers because they were focusing on learning the routes themselves. I mean, they had their training, but once you get on the road and you got passengers and you’re figuring out all the nuances of everything, it is a lot.”
With a new system off the ground, the team will look at each bus stop closely.
“Perhaps a bus isn’t lining up in the right place where it’s laying over where a driver waits for the next run. We’ve got a lot of construction that we’re trying to figure out,” Rusch said.
Rusch says due to a manufacturing delay, they were unable to put up permanent steel bus stop signs. They say their goal is to get those situated and in place by the end of the month.
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