It seems like every article regarding transit service focuses on NVTA 's desire to entice people to utilize the express buses. While I agree this is important NVTA also needs to take into account it's local commuters on the city routes.
I ride the city bus daily and feel improvements need to be made. The early bus I ride in the morning is used for people to get to work and school, ridership is heavy at this time. Instead of a large bus being sent to handle the rider load, usually a shuttle sized bus is sent resulting in overcrowded and unsafe conditions. To his credit Matt Wilcox (NVTA) has tried to correct this issue when I contact him but this problem seems to continue despite his efforts.
Many of the buses no longer have working air conditioning, except for newer "mini" paratransit buses. These very small paratransit buses are often used for city routes because at least they have AC. However the stepped entry into these little buses is steep and twisting making it difficult for those with mobility problems, armfuls of bags, or strollers and small children. If the bus sent out does not have working AC the ride is sweltering on a hot day, often the bus is even hotter that the heat outside.
More solar bus shelters are needed at frequently used bus stops. When the daylight hours shorten I need us use a flashlight to be sure the bus driver will see me when I wait for the bus at 5:30 pm. Shelters would also give riders a dry place to wait for their bus.
More importance needs to be placed on the concerns, comfort, and safety of those of us who ride the city routes. I feel we are you forgotten passengers when it comes to to who NVTA values and considers when making decisions regarding bus transit.
The Register asked NVTA about the issues raised by the author. Executive Director Kate Miller sent the following response.
"We appreciate the reader’s feedback. The comfort and safety of Vine Transit’s passengers are our highest priority, and we regret falling short of rider expectations. The particular concerns raised by the reader are timely as we are conducting an exhaustive review of the Vine Transit system – which annually facilitates 1.2 million passenger trips - to identify improvements. Specific ideas include standardizing our fleet by purchasing larger buses with better on-board amenities, such as improved air-conditioning systems. As the reader correctly notes, the AC units in some of our current buses simply don’t provide the level of comfort we expect for our passengers, especially during the hottest days of the year. The system review also includes potential upgrades to bus stops, as well as identifying additional locations for improved stops and shelters. I invite anyone who has concerns or has an interest in planned improvements to the system to contact me directly at (707) 259-8634, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org."