MST Bus Service Evaluation and Proposed Changes/Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA)
As part of pandemic recovery efforts, Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) is carrying out a Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA) to redesign the bus network. This is an opportunity to evaluate:
- What goals should MST be serving?
- How are MST services performing?
- Where and how often should the bus run, and how should that change in the next 2 years?
How is MST consulting the public?
Since the beginning of the year, MST and its consultant team have conducted interviews with many local stakeholder organizations, held nine focus groups with existing riders, and carried out a general public phone survey. The results of this consultation are in the Choices Report and Phone Survey Results.
COA Community Meeting
MST held a community meeting on June 7 for members of the general public to receive a presentation on the COA efforts and to ask questions. The links to the meeting slide deck and video recording are below:
Why does the bus network need a redesign?
- There are many bus lines, but buses don’t come very often. Many people are spending more time waiting for the bus than riding to their destination. In places where many routes overlap, it can be hard to understand which bus to take.
- Where people live and work has changed. Some communities are growing much faster than others. Is MST providing the right amount of service from one part of Monterey County to another?
- The pandemic has altered everyone’s reality. In the last year, ridership has largely consisted of essential workers. As the county reopens and more people ride, it remains important to understand the needs of the people whose trips are so essential that they continued to ride the bus regularly even in a pandemic.
How will MST decide what changes to make?
The bus network redesign will depend a lot on the answer to important questions about the purpose of transit. Key choices include:
- Ridership vs. Coverage. Is it more important for the bus to be fast and frequent, or is it more important for every community to be served?
- Needs-Based vs. Population-Based Should MST focus mostly on the travel needs of disadvantaged communities, or consider all travel demand equally regardless of people’s circumstances?
MST’s Board of Directors will decide on these questions, and MST staff and consultants will be responsible for developing the network plan, with the benefit of public input to guide them.
But this isn’t the end of the process! Once we’ve heard from the community meeting and MST’s Board, the COA will develop a Draft Plan. The public will have opportunities to comment on the Draft Plan over the course of August and September 2021.
How can I learn more?
Read the Choices Report. This document summarizes all the key issues with graphics and maps to make the most important information stand out.
- Short Version: Executive Summary (18 pages)
- Full Choices Report (77 pages)
- Appendix: Phone Survey Results
Where are we in this process?
The MST Board of Directors received the Choices Report at the May 2021 meeting and will provide direction to MST Staff in June 2021.