The Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST) will hold its final round of opportunities to provide public input on the redesign of the region’s public transit system this week. Over the past 15-plus months COAST has undertaken a comprehensive review of its entire system and developed a proposal to redesign its services to better meet the needs of the region.
According to Rad Nichols, COAST executive director, the organization held 16 public forums over three distinct public input periods, collected and analyzed over 330 responses to onboard and online surveys, and attended numerous partner and stakeholder meetings.
The final public input opportunities on the proposed system will be held as follows:
- Tuesday, December 3 (10a-12p), Dover Public Library
- Tuesday, December 3 (6p-8p), Somersworth City Hall
- Wednesday, December 4 (6p-8p), Portsmouth Public Library
- Thursday, December 5 (9a-11a), Friends of Farmington Meeting Space
- Thursday, December 5 (6p-8p) Rochester Public Library
The following items will be presented for final input:
- Final conceptualized plan, including routes and schedules
- Fare and fare media changes
- New recognized holidays
- Temporarily extending COAST ADA service to affected ADA clients no longer residing within COAST service area
Additionally, comments can also be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to COAST, 42 Sumner Drive, Dover, NH 03820. Comments will be accepted until Monday, December 16.
According to Nichols, the new system has numerous benefits for riders; including dramatic reductions in travel times for the longest trips, more timely connections between routes, clockface scheduling, expansion of Saturday services and extensions of service coverage to a small number of highly-sought areas.
“We owe an enormous amount of gratitude to the NHDOT for helping COAST assemble the funding necessary for implementation. A $4.95M award of FTA funds, passed through the NHDOT over the next three years, will help COAST transition to the new service designed for better cost efficiencies, while also improving customer service,” explained Nichols
A landing page for the Project can be viewed at www.coastbus.org/OurFuture. Visitors to the online landing page can read a project overview, review the project progress to date, see the latest version of the proposed system and timetables, obtain details on upcoming meetings and provide public comment and input through available forms.