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Community-Driven Transit Redesign

MST launched a comprehensive operational analysis in January 2021, kicking off network updates that will more equitably serve diverse Monterey County communities. The goal is to make MST’s system more rider-focused, efficient and convenient.

The Backstory

MST last redesigned its network more than 20 years ago. The agency has added stops and routes since then, working to reach as much of Monterey County as possible. Providing wider geographic coverage, however, offering less-frequent service where many people now live and work.

Building a New Network

This summer, MST held technical design workshops with city planners, engineers and county officials. Participants drafted a new public transit plan that was shared with the public in September. MST gathered community feedback on the plan and brought comments to MST’s Operations Performance Committee in late 2021. Planners hope to submit a final network redesign for MST Board approval in early 2022.

Highlights of the new system include:

  • More frequent bus service at regular 15-, 30- and 60-minute intervals
  • More direct routes that shorten door-to-door travel times
  • Free, timed transfers that make connections quicker
  • Increased service in areas with higher transit demand
  • Greater access to jobs, schools and services
  • Expanded mobility options for low-income households, seniors, persons with disabilities, veterans and students

MST considered pandemic uncertainties and potential financing and staffing challenges when drafting these updates. While the final plan matches budget and workforce targets for FY22-23, the agency prepared alternative scenarios that account for revenue challenges, reduced operating capacities, or expanded funding sources.

Learn More

To view research, maps and more information about MST’s network redesign, visit:
mst.org/about-mst/planning-development/coa

Funded by COVID-relief grants, MST partnered with a national consulting firm to evaluate its services, study passenger demands and demographics, collect community feedback, and outline priorities. After review, MST’s Board of Directors asked the agency to restructure transit offerings guided by:

  • A greater focus on supporting ridership demand than offering coverage
  • An emphasis on service for low-income, underserved and car-free households
  • A rebalance of routes between Salinas, the Monterey Peninsula and the region