City Council approves transit plan update
Over the last 10 years, the Wilsonville Transit Master Plan (TMP) has slowly been going out of date in terms of ridership desires and the scope of service required to service the growing population.
In an effort to update the transit plan, former South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART) Transit Director Stephan Lashbrook began community outreach efforts in 2015, culminating in the TMP draft presented to the City Council June 5.
After two years of tweaking and being taken over by recently appointed Transit Director Dwight Brashear, the updated TMP is built off public feedback. Of the more than 1,300 comments received, Brashear said that they took the predominant and more feasible, resulting in four proposed route changes.
At the June 5 work session, Brashear and SMART Operations Manager Eric Loomis unveiled the updated TMP draft. Within the draft, four routes were altered:
? The 2X will now use the Tigard Transit Center instead of the Barbur Transit Center, mirroring the WES service during its hours of inactivity in the afternoon.
? Route 3 will be divided to create a 3X commuter route to Canby and separate pilot shuttle service to Charbonneau will also be added.
? The cross-town, 4X route will also be altered. The plan proposes eliminating the transit center stop on the route during non-commuting hours, streamlining the service in the afternoon to be shorter and more centralized.
? Lastly, Route 7 will undergo a general reconfiguration to better suit ridership needs.
"The proposed changes are cost-neutral," Brashear said, adding that the draft itself is not intended as an inflexible, long-range plan or a funding plan for SMART.
"This is a snapshot into the future," Brashear said. "It's more of a broad look at what is needed to meet the needs of Wilsonville citizens and people coming and going from Salem and Portland."
The council responded favorably to the draft, although Mayor Tim Knapp wondered how Brashear said the TMP was based off of community feedback when there were many conflicting desires.
"It sounds to me like the public is all over the page," Knapp said. "You can't be all things to all people and I found it somewhat unclear in the plan."
Brashear reiterated that the TMP draft was constructed based on the most prevalent and feasible feedback. He did acknowledge that not everyone was pleased with route decisions that were made — particularly in moving the 2X from the Barbur Transit Center to the Tigard Transit Center — but that they were the best decisions for the majority of ridership and SMART itself. But Brashear also made a point to say that the draft isn't the be-all, end-all for SMART.
"We view this as a living document and the only thing that's for certain is change," Brashear said.
At the City Council meeting that followed the work session, the ordinance was approved unanimously on the first reading.