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Vision 2020: The Blueprint for the Future

2.

The Proposed Suburban Mobility Network

In the future, Pace must be a well-integrated system of public transportation services designed and operated to serve the suburban and urban travel needs of a growing and changing metropolitan region. Effectively providing suburban mobility means providing access to widely distributed trip origins and destinations while providing a time-competitive, long-distance line- haul service between suburban centers. This includes an evaluation of the present fixed-route structure, the creation of community-based services, the implementation of line-haul routes , and the development of transportation centers and other passenger facilities. The proposed Suburban Mobility Network in Year 2020 is illustrated in Figure 1 on page 6.

2.1.

Community-Based Services

Pace’s success depends on how well it brings customers to its network: the “first and last mile” of the passenger trip. Pace’s service area includes a range of conditions from walkable neighborhoods in the inner-ring suburbs and satellite cities to dispersed, automobile-oriented development in the outer suburbs. Pace currently operates a variety of fixed route, commuter rail feeder, employer shuttle, route-deviation, and other services to provide access to widespread trip origins and destinations. The plan envisions a continuation and expansion of delivering flexible services tailored to the travel patterns of the local community.

Community-based services include a full gamut of service types from demand-response in some markets to fixed routes in others, with a customized mix of service types in each community. Current connections such as fixed-routes, employer shuttles, historic trolleys, and community circulators will expand. New community services will provide short-distance mobility within communities and include:

  • 

    Flexible routes that can deviate to provide curb-to-curb service within a defined corridor,

  • 

    Van services that provide curb-to-curb service on request within a defined service area,

  • 

    Subscription routes that allow customers to make arrangements for rides on a regular

basis.

These services will use recent advances in communications technology to ensure connections with other services, respond to real-time customer requests for service, and communicate service status with customers. The specific mix of service types, service levels, and other parameters will be based on detailed studies of travel markets and local interests and conditions in each community-based service area.

The plan identifies more than 90 such service areas for further study in partnership with communities. Three service levels are envisioned, based on the primary types of services most likely to be provided, as determined by expected ridership.

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    “Low” service areas have the least population and employment density and are best

served by vanpools, subscription services, demand-response vans and flexible bus routes.

March 2002

3

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