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Input sought: 10-year plan for LeeTran in the works

By Staff | Aug 4, 2016

Lee County Transit is looking for feedback from the public on its 10-year plan for LeeTran.

Two meetings are scheduled to collect input on the proposed Transit Development Plan for 2017-26. It will serve as a guide to help shape the future of public transit service and operations in Lee County.

“We do this every five years,” Lee County Transit Director Steve Myers said, noting that gathering input is a big part. “It’s for services recommended to be provided over the 10-year planning horizon.”

The meetings will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon and again from 4 to 6 p.m. on the First Floor of the Lee County Administration East Building, at 2201 Second St. in Fort Myers.

The public is encouraged to attend and provide input.

“The plan is pretty much in a draft form at this point,” he said.

It will be presented to attendees for them to review.

Some of the proposed changes range from improving the frequency of the existing bus routes and installing more weekend and late night routes, to providing more bus shelters and passenger amenities.

For example, a bus route with a 60-minute frequency could change to a 30–minute frequency.

Myers noted that out of the 24 total LeeTran routes, 18 have proposed improvements.

Six routes are being considered for expanded service – earlier, later or weekend.

“Certain improvements are prioritized,” he said.

“We try to take a lot from the Transit Development Plan to inform us,” Myers added.

The proposed plan calls for $50,000 in infrastructure improvements, which includes the addition of more bus shelters and benches, along with the installation of bicycle racks at bus stops and signs.

“We try to gather as much information as we can about what the particular interests are,” he said.

For example, staff have been meeting with stakeholders and community leaders to get their feedback, as well as conducting surveys of bus users and non-users. Social media even had a hand this time.

“We enhanced our feedback effort a little bit this year,” Myers said.

“Each group is different in their viewpoints,” he added.

The proposed plan has an operating cost of approximately $330 million over the 10-year period, with a shortfall of about $70 million. Myers explained that this is where public input dictates prioritization.

“Which ones of those (projects) would be first in line to be completed?” he asked.

Myers pointed out that any capital projects must be part of the plan.

“We’ve been working on this since late last year,” he said.

Following next week’s meetings, the feedback will be incorporated into the Transit Development Plan immediately. The proposal then goes before the Lee County Commission on Aug. 16 for approval.

For more information, call 239-LEE-TRAN (533-8726) or visit: HYPERLINK ““http://www.RideLeeTran.com/”>www.RideLeeTran.com/www.RideLeeTran.com.