Athens Public Transit starts another wave of new development next month! The year-round Bobcat Pass program will make APT service free for Ohio University students, faculty and staff, while Line 4 will follow a new longer path and hourly schedule across campus between the West Side and the Market on State.
To celebrate these changes and ease the transition, we are holding a system-wide free day July 1st. Try out your new Bobcat Pass privileges for the first time using your university ID, or enjoy a fare-free day of travel to summer fun at the City Pool, the Athens Library, or a variety of other destinations if you are a community member not affilated with OU.
Athens Public Transit invites the public to attend two meetings to discuss proposed changes to the system. Meetings will be held Wednesday June 1 at noon, and Thursday June 2 at 7pm; both meetings will take place at the Athens Public Library conference room, 30 Home Street in Athens, an ADA-accessible location on Line 4.
Two changes to the system will be presented. The first is a rerouting of Line 4, which has suffered from ongoing behind-schedule issues. The proposed rerouting lowers the frequency of the 4 from every half hour to every hour, but extends it across west campus and into the west side neighborhoods, forming more of an east-west line than currently exists. The routing changes include the following:
- Extension of the line from its current end point at Walmart to terminate at the Market on State;
- A shift in near east side routing from S Shannon Ave to S May Ave one block east;
- A western terminus at Central Avenue and 2nd St;
- A path along the south side of West Green that coordinate with CATS shuttle stops and
- Line 4 is no longer planned to include a stop at the Baker Center main transfer point, though the 4 will continue to stop in both directions by Grover Center just down the hill.
The second proposed change is a reclassification of APT’s service from demand-responsive to fixed route with comingled complementary ADA paratransit. In APT’s case the ADA paratransit requirement has historically been fulfilled by general public deviation service; the classification change will allow us to more specifically offer deviations to our eligible older and disabled customers, ensuring that schedules are not overwhelmed with convenience deviation requests from the rest of the general public. Patrons shouldn’t notice a difference in service, but the classification change will allow us to serve our public more efficiently as our ridership continues to grow.
Athens Public Transit is thrilled to confirm our involvement in a pilot program for members of the Ohio University community that will offer unlimited trips on all numbered APT routes. According to the release issued jointly by the City and University yesterday:
“Access to public transportation on campus and throughout Athens County is about to be improved for all Athens-based students and employees with a valid Ohio University identification card. Today, City of Athens Mayor Steve Patterson and Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis announced a pilot partnership that will allow the Ohio University ID to serve as a fare card for unlimited travel on the Athens Public Transit (APT) system beginning July 1, 2016. The Bobcat Pass pilot program is intended to significantly increase access to a large population within Athens County. The pilot phase will last one year and will be funded by Ohio University’s Transportation and Parking Department.”
The complete announcement with more detail about the program is available from City of Athens and Ohio University news outlets:
APT would like to thank both our partners and the management teams at HAPCAP and McDonald Transit for their work in making this major step in local transit development possible. Further details will be released as the pilot start date approaches.
UPDATE 4pm 2016-03-30: Work has concluded and routes are now operating on their regular schedules. We thank the riding public for their patience.
On Wednesday, March 30th, South Shafer Street between W Union and Byard will be closed in both directions as the City of Athens repairs a water main under the street. Work will start around 8am.
APT Route 5 will detour straight down W Union during the work, missing west side stops at the OU Innovation Center, West State and Shafer, and Shafer and Union.
APT Route 6 will access its normal west side stops via West State St, returning uptown to resume its normal outbound stop sequence down Congress before traveling west out W Union. Some delay should be expected as a result of the additional milage.
We encourage our west side riders headed towards uptown or the East Side to use the West State and Shafer stop starting at around :08 to take the 6 to a Congress Street stop uptown – transfers to Routes 2 or 3 can be made a block east on Court St. APT apologizes for any inconvenience the detours will cause, and will provide updates when the schedule returns to normal.
UPDATE 2:30pm – Snow Level has been downgraded to 2. However, with less than two hours remaining in the normal service day we have elected to stay closed for now. Late night Summit service will be running normally.
The Athens County Sheriff has issued a Level 3 snow alert after heavy snowfall overnight; many roadways are blocked and driving is extremely hazardous. Non-emergency vehicles are prohibited from being on the road in a Level 3.
Athens Public Transit provides service in Level 1 and 2 snow conditions, but closes when Level 3 conditions are present. We apologize for the inconvenience, and ask you to enjoy your snow day in a safe and mostly stationary manner!
You asked, we listened! Starting this week, Athens Public Transit is pleased to offer an unlimited-ride day pass to our traveling public. Dated day passes are now sold on all APT buses, at a price of $3 General and $1.50 Elderly/Disability. Once issued, the pass gives the person to whom it is issued unlimited trips through the end of the day.
Since a Route 2, 3 or 4 bus arrives every 15 minutes in Uptown Athens and the East State shopping district, we hope that the pass will give passengers running multiple errands new freedom. Day passes will also be an easy and thrifty way for visitors to enjoy local travel. If you are a day pass transit customer in the next few months, please give us some feedback about how it works for you.
Boo! APT’s page for 2015 Halloween special bus service has posted. Click here for details including late night service that accesses parking, maps showing transit directions from area hotels and motels, and information on local cab services. We will continue to update the page with any new information as the block party on 10/31 approaches.
UPDATE: We’re adding some important information regarding detours the day of the Block Party. On Saturday Routes 2,3,5 & 6 will miss the Court & President, Court & Washington, and Court & West State stops. The Summit loop will pick up/drop off passengers exclusively at the Richland & President stop and Summit on Saturday night.
We’ve also added our 2015 map of the route from Fairgrounds parking:
Saturday morning Oct 10th until 1pm, APT buses will not be able to access the Mulberry Stop, Court & President stop or the West Green Stop due to the Ohio University Homecoming Parade. Routes 5 & 6 will not be able to reach the stops at Factory St or Beasley Mills. Please use our Court & Washington Stop instead for uptown travel and connections. At 1pm we will resume our normal routes.
Athens Public Transit is excited to announce the launch of a pilot project we’re calling “On The Bus”. It takes the work of a local poet Wendy McVicker and wraps one of our vehicles in it, inside and out. A concept of graphic designer Molly Schoenhoff, the project received support from a team of Ohio University students, The Athens Municipal Arts Commission, The Ohio University College of Fine Arts CREATE_space lab, and local vendor Performance Signs. It is our hope that this project will be the first of many that partners transit publicity with local arts, culture and education.
Though you may have spotted the bus out on Athens streets over the past couple weeks, we are gathering today to give it a formal send-off, with a short reading in transit by the poet. If you would like to take part, be at the main bus stop by Baker Center at around 12:15pm this afternoon – the bus departs around 12:30.
Photos 1&3 by Misty Thomas-Trout, Photo 2 Steve Patterson.
APT seeks a full-time bus mechanic. For details or to apply, please call 740-592-2727 or visit our service garage at 397 West State St, Athens, Ohio 45701.