We currently do not utilize our public transportation enough as it is, we need to re-evaluate the routes and stops, eliminate the stops with no riders, and run a tighter and more frequent loop cycle on the heavy rider stops
We work with COAST to provide public transportation which is already quite affordable. Increasing ridership is the key to increasing frequency and expanding routes so we need to work on increasing ridership--best done through increasing information about schedules.
Improved routes, improved information about schedules, increased advertising of the services offered by Coast, varied routes, low fares all will help to increase ridership on public transportation.
I have been using public transportation regularly for the last 3 years and have been an advocate. We need to realize that even if we have a car, by using the COAST bus system we are voting to keep it robust. The fees just went from fifty cents to a dollar fifty on October 1. This was due to a lack of riders. Please encourage everyone to use the city and intercity buses.
The State of New Hampshire does not fund any public transportation. In Portsmouth, we are fortunate to have an arrangement with the Trolley, Coast Busses and the Senior Citizen vans to transport people. The UNH Wildcat vans provide a service but in general there is not enough public transportation and to have more will require funding.
I’m a free market advocate. In a prior post, my friend Arthur Clough states that fees tripled. It’s an odd business that sees a small number of customers and in response increases prices. If the cost of gasoline were to triple, would you drive more or less. If the cost of gasoline were to be cut by 2/3, would you be likely to drive more or less.People vote with their feet. If they thought public transport offered them a better price or more convenience, then they would flock to it. I don’t see how we can spend limited public monies on a method of transport that people aren’t flocking to. Conversely if they were flocking to it, then we wouldn’t need to spend public monies.
Jim SplaineCOAST and the Portsmouth Trolley services are often underutilized, in part because residents are not fully aware of their availability, and in part because the pickup and drop off on routes are not frequent or convenient enough. We need to have more trolley service, more stop locations, more "sheltered" pickup spots, and more frequent service as well as service later into the night. It's a win-win for affordability and availability if we find ways to make our trolley services more widely used.
I would agree our Public transportation system is bad! We need to do a lot of work. The good thing is, for the first time we have residents that are talking about transportation and believe that the next council should act on it. I believe that we must make public transportation assessable and affordable. In the future I hope you will not have to ask this question.
I tend to agree with several other candidates on this one. The City Council needs to continue working with COAST to provide public transportation. COAST is relatively affordable, but keeping costs down and adding routes will depend solely on ridership. We need to do everything we can to promote schedules and provide information so people know that this public transportation is available.
I might have said that the City should expand the number and location of its bus and trolley routes and double or triple the frequency of runs, but the fact is that the buses and trolleys are barely being utilized as it is. There is little sense in expanding the number and location of routes and expanding public transportation generally, if no one is going to use it. All the times that I have ridden the COAST trolley, it has been practically empty, despite the fact that it is eminently affordable. I am less familiar with the bus lines, but I do not recall ever seeing a publicly-run bus in Portsmouth that was overfull. Perhaps simply educating the public as to the availability of these bus and trolley lines, so that residents will be aware of their availability, will cause an increase in the amount of their use; I don’t know. Either way, there is little point in investing extensively in the public transportation system if it going to continue to be underutilized.Expansion of shuttle service to off-site parking lots is one of the obvious features which will go hand-in-hand with solving the current parking problem in downtown Portsmouth. Hopefully, as people become more accustomed to relying on it as a means of traveling into and out of the downtown area, it will stimulate an enhancement of the level of service of public transportation and more widespread use and interest in it at the same time.