Wayfinders, real-time bus data coming to Napa streets

Signage project being funded by MTC
2013-09-29T14:27:00Z 2013-09-30T15:50:34Z Wayfinders, real-time bus data coming to Napa streetsPETER JENSEN Napa Valley Register
September 29, 2013 2:27 pm  • 

The Napa County Transportation and Planning Agency is preparing to install wayfinding and digital signs in the city of Napa and at its Soscol Gateway Transit Center with directional and real-time information about the transit system.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) will provide $263,000 to fund the project, which aims to provide passengers on the VINE bus system with information about key destinations in the city of Napa and Napa County, and how to access them via taxis, shuttles, walkways, bicycles or regional transit connections.

The mediums delivering that information are directional signs and wayfinding kiosks, real-time digital displays and displays with information about NCTPA’s transit services.

The agency will work with San Francisco-based Erbco Construction Services on the project, which includes Erbco analyzing access points to the new transit center on Burnell Street, traffic circulation patterns, and key areas where pedestrians or travelers would need information about how to reach destination points.

Erbco’s contract is valued at $185,000, all of which is provided by MTC via revenue collected from Bay Area bridge tolls, according to the county transit agency.

Erbco will also have to produce a map showing the circulation patterns in the vicinity of the transit center and the Redwood Road Park and Ride, and which paths traffic can travel in those areas, such as bus routes, major arterials, bike paths and walkways.

With that information, the contractor will have to determine how many different sign types will be needed, how many signs total, and where they will be located.

It will also have to draft the messages on each sign and the signs’ designs, as well as the digital panels. A cost estimate will be provided with this submittal.

Erbco has to determine whether placing the signs will require encroachment permits from outside agencies, such as the city of Napa or Caltrans, and how well the signage program will mesh with master plans that will be rolled out in the future, such as the Downtown Specific Plan.

After that, it’s up to the contractor to produce the draft and final versions of the construction documents, while giving the county transit agency and MTC opportunities to weigh in and review the draft version.

A separate contract will be needed for creating and installing the signs.

NCTPA Executive Director Kate Miller wrote in an email that the agency wanted to time this project with the unveiling of the new transit center last December, but was unable to get responses from its initial requests for proposals.

NCTPA is also working with the city of Napa to place the wayfinding signs to the transit center in downtown Napa, Miller wrote.

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(7) Comments

  1. Marty
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    Marty - September 29, 2013 3:36 pm
    Maybe you should switch to smaller buses. The ones that I see are empty most of the time. We sure seem to have an endless supply of money, $263,000, to fund all of this mass transit stuff. How about some money to feed our poor elderly? Meals on wheels has a waiting list of 30 seniors. Guess they can go hungry. I vote we spend this money on them.
  2. publiusa
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    publiusa - September 29, 2013 5:17 pm
    Bay area bridge tolls are nothing but a monstgrous slush fund for the MTC which is a regional government agency unresponsive to voters. Bill Dodd is our representative on MTCand has been for at least 8 years. In fact he was the chair of MTC in 2009 when they raised all the bridge tolls and he said in a speech that the increased tolls would be used for bridge maintenance. Does this foolish use of bridge tolls anger you? If so, Bill Dodd is running for Assembly in 2014 and here is a chance deny a person higher office who is not sensitive to taxpayers and commuters. Vote for Dan Wolk.
  3. kezzak1
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    kezzak1 - September 29, 2013 6:59 pm
    I would love to see an internet / smart phone service used like "my nextbus". i used this in the SF snd it saved a lot of time.
  4. Rustydog
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    Rustydog - September 29, 2013 7:27 pm
    Why are so many full size buses running almost empty? Even the smaller ones rarely have
    more than a few riders. Does anyone know what percent of capacity the system runs at?
    Probably would be cheaper and more fuel efficient to just send a taxi for the few riders during
    non commute hours.
  5. msetty
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    msetty - September 29, 2013 8:07 pm
    Publiusa, you really contribute nothing to the discussions here with your constant negative comments. Not that I don't agree with you sometimes, e.g., a broken clock is right twice daily.

    Improving signage and transit information is a relatively cheap use of available funding, far less than the ongoing, day-in day-out costs of running buses. But NCTPA isn't the most competent agency to implement these sorts of projects, or design useful bus routes. As a transit planner with 34 years of experience, I can tell you that the current VINE routes implemented last December are very poorly designed, resulting in pathetic ridership and productivity.

    For example, Vacaville City Coach carries 50% more riders than local VINE routes in Napa with the same number of buses, despite the fact that in terms of density and concentration of jobs, Vacaville is a much poorer transit market than Napa. But the Vacaville routes are much better designed, and thus attracts many more passengers.
    Report Abuse
    RUSSELL - September 30, 2013 12:06 pm
    I'm sure there is something more needed than waisting money on this, thats why we have computers and smart phones, why don't we use the money for more important things, roads,housing such as help keeping a family in there home, entertainment that NOW DO NOT HAVE ANY MORE......
  7. rockinghorse
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    rockinghorse - September 30, 2013 1:30 pm
    I agree, Napa Transit is a joke, you would think they would get rid of those old dilapidating buses first.. and give quality service to the newly repaired streets....yah Right

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