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Transit Service Pilot Project for Binbrook, starts this fall

TRANSIT notes from June 25th, 2013Community Meeting:  Councillor Brenda Johnson welcomed residents to the Transit portion of the meeting.   Brenda outlined the results of the door to door Transit Survey that was taken last summer by herself and a team of 4 students. Currently there are approx. 2,400 households within the Binbrook Village and 995 Transit Surveys were completed (41% of the households). Brenda clarified that it was 1 survey per household. 

Of the 997 surveys completed, 944 households indicated that they had a vehicle or had access to a vehicle, 1942 people within those households had access to a vehicle and 620 residents had use of a bicycle on a regular basis. Of those who said they would use transit if available, 360 preferred transcab and 352 preferred shuttle. When asked if they would support transit at a $75.00 cost with a current value assessment of $245,100, within the Village per year for yourself or for the community; 612 said YES and 385 said NO. 

Councillor Johnson then introduced Andy McLaughlin of the City Transit Dept., to give an overview of the type of service being considered.

As a result of this data HSR Transit Staff recommend a pilot “transcab” project for the Village of Binbrook at no cost to the residents (during the pilot project).   This is a more cost effective way to deliver the service until demand is great enough to offer full bus service.  The hours of service for transcab will be Monday to Friday from 6am to 10pm.  Transcab is a door to bus stop service.  It comes directly to your home to pick you up and drops you off back at your home on the return trip

A resident would call the transcab number and request a cab, the resident would give the cab driver a transit bus ticket plus 50 cents.  The transcab would take you to Rymal Road and Terry Berry Lane (just west of Wal-Mart).  There you can either go shopping or board the Rymal #44 Bus to continue on with your trip.  For your return trip home, you would board the Rymal #44 bus and let the driver know that you need a transcab.  You would pay the bus fare plus 50 cents and the driver would call ahead to have a transcab waiting to take you back to Binbrook.  The bus driver would give you a transcab transfer that you would give to the transcab driver and no further money is required. 

If you are shopping in the Rymal area and wanted to return home, you would call the transcab number and request a transcab that would pick you up at the same point you were dropped off (Terry Berry Lane and Rymal Rd).  You would give the transcab a bus ticket plus 50 cents and you would be returned to your home in Binbrook. 

This pilot would be for 6 months starting this fall.  At the end of that time if there are not enough users for transit/transcab, then the service would be cancelled.   However, if the service is being used enough, then residents would be contacted again with real time costs associated with continuing with the transcab service.  A final decision for permanent service will be made pending those results. The transcab service will only be provided within the urban boundary of the Village of Binbrook.  This service is not offered to the rural area and in turn, should the service be supported and become permanent, only those living within the boundaries of the Village of Binbrook will be paying for this service. 

Questions from meeting…..

Question:  Can I use my bus pass instead of tickets? 

Answer:  At this time you must use a bus ticket when calling for the transcab cab.  This is for tracking the use of transcab.   However, you can use your pass to board a city bus and then ask for the transcab transfer for going home.  But if you aren’t using the city bus, they you need a bus ticket to give the transcab.

Question:  Why no service on Weekends?

Answer:  This is a pilot project and they used the data obtained from the transit survey to determine most popular times.  The service is also linked to the Rymal #44 bus route.  It was stated that if the demand is there, they can expand on the service.

Question:  The cost is based on assessed value, which means you could pay a lot more than just $75. per year.

Answer:  Yes, the $75.00 per year is based on an assessed value of $245,000.  If your home is assessed for $490,000 then you could pay $150.00 per year.   It was noted that these were approximate costs and at the end of the pilot actual costs will be determined and residents will be notified before a final decision is maid. 

Question:  Who is paying for the Pilot Project Service?  

Answer:  The Pilot Project is being paid for by the City Transit Dept., if will not affect your property taxes.  If was further noted that there is only a cost if the transcabs are used.  If the transcab service remains permanently, then you would see a property tax increase because you would no longer be area rated for not having the service.  Again, rural areas (outside the Village of Binbrook) would continue to be area rated and not pay for this service because they don’t receive it.

Question:  Why not a regular bus service out to Binbrook.

Answer:  Transcab is more cost effective as it is only used when needed, bus service runs whether it is used or not. 

Question:  Will transcab bring geared to income housing?

Answer:  Highly unlikely as the cost of land is too expensive for their budgets. Winona has had transcab for over 15 years and their property values have only increased with no geared to income housing.

Question:  Can the area for transcab service be extended outside the urban boundary of the Village of Binbrook.

Answer:  No

Question:  Do I have to share a transcab sometimes.

Answer:  Yes that may be possible, if the transcab gets 2 calls at the same time, they can pick up at both locations and drive you to the bus stop or return trip home.

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