City hosts meetings asking for input on StarMetro services and Southside Transit Center

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 6:04 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The City of Tallahassee is gathering public input on the StarMetro system.

The staff is working on a Comprehensive Operational Analysis, a yearlong effort to create a 10-year strategy for system development, and the design phase of the Southside Transit Center.

The Comprehensive Operational Analysis looks at the existing service, searching for ways to capitalize on strengths and improve on weaknesses. StarMetro recently submitted the Transit Development Plan Major Update to the City Commission, which was approved.

The Commission has also approved the creation of the Southside Transit Center, at the corner of Meridian and Orange Avenue. There is currently a temporary park in the spot. You can view the design schedule here.

The City has hosted multiple public meetings, including one from 5:30-8:00 p.m. Wednesday night at the Jack McClean Community Center.

Wednesday’s meeting began at 5:30 and will end at 8; the public is welcome to come by at any time during that window. City staff will give two 15 minute presentations, one at 6:00 p.m. and one at 7:00 p.m.

September’s meetings are the third set that StarMetro has done as it gathers input.

“We’re working with champions in the community, conducting polls, online surveys, and on bus surveys, and we’re hoping that this work will provide us with the feedback that we need for the future needs of our citizens in this community,” Angela Baldwin, the City’s Chief Transit Officer, said.

WCTV spoke with citizens at C.K. Steele about what they’d like to see done with the transit system.

One woman, Rita Marshall, rides StarMetro every day. She says she’d like more frequent service to her neighborhood, the Miccosukee Hill Cottages.

“We are a community of senior citizens and disabled people and visually impaired, and we really need it. There’s no service on Sunday, there’s no service after 6:30,” Marshall said.

She also wants additional amenities at bus stops.

“I would like to see where we can sit down where we have a shed. We have a bench, but none of them don’t have a shed over there,” Marshall said. “I appreciate the $25 annual pass, and the $1 fares to and from Quincy.”

Jay Jordan has concerns about the timing of buses.

“We just got off the G bus, and we was going to catch the A bus before 12. But they left,” Jordan said. “Sometimes they leave early. And that’ll be like a hazard for us, going to work and stuff.”

Jordan says it’s caused issues for him.

“I’m late to work a lot,” he said.

College and university students also use the system; FAMU student Jason Osagie rides Monday through Friday.

“I would like free bus passes for students, for students who go to college,” Osagie said.

Kiana Green is another FAMU student who uses StarMetro; she says the scheduling can be inconvenient at times.

“It takes about an hour, so I have to wake up pretty early. Because I have 8 a.m.’s, so if I have an 8 a.m., I have to get up by six,” Green said.

She added that she does appreciate the way the routes are laid out, and hers is simple. Green would also like more information on the signs at bus stops.

“Like the times when weekdays come, do they come at like the 30, or the 00,” she explained.

StarMetro says the goal is to create accessible, efficient, and equitable service for all of Tallahassee.

“Community input from our citizens helps us plan routes and design for the future Southside Transit Center,” Baldwin said.

You can learn more about the Southside Transit Center here, and take StarMetro’s survey here.

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