On September 21, 2017, the MTS Board of Directors unanimously approved changes to the MTS bus network, adding $2 million in new service. The changes added significantly to the network of high-frequency services (15 minutes or better), as well as shortened some travel times.
The changes are the result of the Transit Optimization Plan (TOP), which MTS launched in fall 2016. The project was a comprehensive evaluation, including extensive customer outreach effort, to ensure that MTS services are efficient and effective for the region’s travel needs. TOP is an update of the 2004-2006 Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA) that resulted in major changes to the system’s bus and Trolley services.
Among the goals of TOP were to create a network of services that would attract more riders to the system and to reverse a two-year decline in ridership and fare revenue. The TOP process included nearly 6,000 surveys, more than 50 outreach events across the region and a public hearing. Using rider input in conjunction with system performance data and ridership patterns, adjustments were made to over 60% of MTS’ bus services.