ASHEVILLE NC – In a move to increase accessibility to public transportation and support the City of Asheville‘s multimodal transportation goals, the ART, Asheville’s transit service, launched Sunday bus service on January 4, 2015.
The expansion is the largest since the City launched the Transit Master Plan in 2012 and is expected to increase ridership by about 85,000 each year.
“Sunday service is consistently among the most requested service enhancements we hear from the community,” said Transportation Manager Mariate Echeverry. “Seven day service is the logical next step in implementing the transit plan for Asheville.”
In October, Asheville City Council approved $112,131 in matching funds to secure an equal amount of federal Job Access and Reverse Commute grant funding to expand transportation options so that commuters can get to and search for jobs on Sundays.
As buses rolled on the morning of January 4, Council members, city staff and members of the city’s Multimodal Transportation Commission and Transit sub-committee celebrated the launch with a ceremony at the Coxe Avenue ART Station.
“Whether people need to get to jobs or run errands, seven day access to transit is good for everyone,” said Council Member and Multimodal Transportation Commission liaison Gwen Wisler. “It is the kind of improvement that makes Asheville a healthier city.”
Sunday routes are posted on the City’s website at ridetheart.com. In all, buses will provide 67 hours of service on Sundays on nine routes. These routes, plus a new addition, were the top performing routes in 2014. In the past year, the ART enjoyed a ridership of approximately 120,000 riders per month.
Expanded bus service supports Asheville City Council’s strategic goals for sustainability and affordability as well as the City of Asheville’s goals of constant improvement and excellent service.