Connecting the Dots: 8/24/21

Click here to watch a recording of the workshop.

Panelists:

  • Keith Scott from Electric City Transit
  • Heather Lollis from CATbus
  • Dan Hofmann from Clemson University

Introductions

Dan Hoffman from Clemson University

  • Parking and transportation are under one roof at Clemson
  • There are 14,000 parking spots
  • Buses service campus and satellite locations
  • There are many programs to reduce cars on campus
  • Clemson has avoided $19M in parking expenses

Heather Lollis from CATbus

  • CATbus connects Clemson with other cities and counties through partnerships with Electric City Transit, Greenville Transit Authority; Seneca, Central, Pendleton, Pickens, and Greenville
  • Discussion is ongoing with GTA to develop consistent routes for Greenville to Clemson
  • 2019 ridership numbers were used for FTA to determine how much grant funding, so low ridership will not affect funding

Keith Scott from Electric City Transit

  • City of Anderson operates urban and rural service
  • Partners with Anderson County on four urban routes
  • Hours are Monday – Friday from 6:30 am-6:30 pm
  • Started with three buses, now at six
  • Routes go to both high schools, most medical facilities, many shopping areas.
  • History with Duke Energy so funded with no taxpayer contribution

Connectivity

Keith Moody

  • Anderson started with CATbus 2000-2001 with 4U Clemson, Southern Wesleyan, Anderson University, and Tri-County Tech to about 2011
  • Anderson County used grant funding, and then fare was charged, but CATbus is not set up for fares. Routes were adjusted to connect in Pendleton instead of Anderson. This worked out well for Anderson folks because there are more connections. Riders enjoy going Clemson area, different restaurants, shopping, etc.

Dan Hoffman

  • Clemson’s focus mainly on getting students to campus and reducing cars on campus
  • Services also leave campus to go shopping and provide holiday airport shuttles.
  • Transit funds come mainly from transit fees that students pay
  • Other options include car-sharing, park, and ride for off-campus parking, bike share
  • Meal plans subsidized for staff to reduce traffic in and out for lunch
  • Most popular route is to Greenville
  • Many faculty members use Tiger route that includes free public parking garage at CUICAR in Greenville.
  • Gamification uses students and faculty tracking with prizes
  • Most concerned about lack of bike infrastructure
  • Conversations began with working with CATbus on data to increase good routes that are shorter.
  • Running 15-minute service now.
  • Lots of housing has been built within walking distance near downtown

Heather Lolis

  • Seneca system first to be electric with 5-6 Proterra buses that have exceeded battery life expectations
  • Bought 10 electric busses recently
  • 100% electric is not possible due to emergency management protocols

Sense of Place – How to Incorporate Walking and Biking Safely

Dan Hoffman

  • Clemson is very concerned about pedestrian safety.
  • Studies have been done to mitigate risk with enhanced signaling and extra-large speed bumps.
  • Working with Todd Steadmon and a committee working on enhancing bike safety
  • Some apartments have created their own transit services
  • Hybrid system in place with contractors, Cat bus, 25-30 buses of their own, and right-size fleet
  • On football days, transit is all CATbus

Keith

  • All buses have bike racks so that people may ride the many trails around city
  • The city and county are in discussion about bike safety and infrastructure
  • 50% of buses are natural gas and 50% diesel
  • 2 new buses will be purchased this year
  • Natural gas buses run in more condensed areas and diesel for longer routes for increased efficiency
  • Natural Gas built filling station nearby

Looking Toward the Future

Heather

  • Liberty, Easley, Powdersville need service and will be talking with Greenlink soon.
  • Routes must run for three years before seeing ridership and receive grant funding.
  • Walhalla would like service.
  • Main focus is expanding and better connectivity with Greenville
  • Extra bus shelters installed this year at busiest points

Routes to Major Employers

Keith

  • Electric City goes to many major employers
  • Expansion possibility to Highway 81 corridor
  • Headways in Anderson are one hour, and 30-minute headways would double budget and number of drivers
  • Budget would have to be increased with taxes in order to expand routes

Dan

  • Creating convenience and options will be key
  • Some things they are doing:
    • Subsidized transit passes for employees
    • Discounted park and ride lots
  • Future might include:
    • congestion pricing
    • Expanding technology with real-time tracking of occupancy and timeliness
    • Scooters (safely)
    • Real-time parking sensors and availability
  • Pilot program in student lot with 6 different permit types resulted in grant funding to expand bike share with electric bikes.
  • DOE grant for autonomous vehicles to evaluate feasibility and safety

Watch for more information for Connecting the Dots event with Greenville and Spartanburg!