Blacksburg Transit has added ten additional stops to its two Christiansburg routes, eight of which will be served by both the blue and gold loops (see illustration).
Both the blue and gold loops (Explorer routes), while on their northbound trip to the NRV Mall, will make a loop through the Cambria area via Church Street, Montgomery Street, Cambria Street, and Central Avenue.
This Cambria addition will add a total of eight stops to a previously underserved area of Christiansburg. The Blue loop will also add a stop on North Franklin St., near the Dairy Queen and one near the intersection of Roanoke Street and First Street, near Hardee’s.
Blacksburg Transit operates two services to Christiansburg, one, a fixed route (Explorer and Commuter) and the other a demand-response service, commonly known as the “Go Anywhere” route.
The Explorer route operates two loops through the town from 7:15 a.m.-6:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Commuter side of the serve operates on limited stops around town Monday-Friday with one trip to Blacksburg in the a.m. and a return trip in the p.m. The Two-Town Trolley between Blacksburg and Christiansburg piggybacks on these two.
The Go Anywhere operates from 7 a.m. – 5:45 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m.- 4:45 p.m. on Saturday with two vehicles. Residents have to call and request the bus to pick them up two weeks in advance.
Transit spokesperson Fiona Rhodes said that the new stops were decided in part by what riders were requesting with the Go Anywhere service.
“We review ridership and development patterns on an on-going basis and have noted demand in this area on the Go Anywhere demand-response service and with deviations on the Explorer deviated fixed route,” she wrote. “A deviation is where riders can request a detour off the route to get them closer to their origin or destination. We also determined that we could accommodate this improvement within the existing schedule time.”
Rhodes said that BT engaged the community through various mediums before the new stops were finalized, and the citizen response was overwhelmingly positive.
Approximately 28,700 passengers from Christiansburg used the service last year, and BT expects that number to grow with the new stops.
“We are adding access to the Explorer route in the neighborhood which should attract new riders. Another benefit is that people who are currently using Go Anywhere in this area may choose Explorer instead, which would open up more capacity on Go Anywhere. We will be monitoring ridership patterns after the change to assess the net increase in ridership,” Rhodes wrote.
The News Messenger previously reported that Christiansburg Town Council recently agreed to pay an increase of approximately $200,000 for BT’s services to the town. Those costs will be split between Christiansburg and transportation grants. The total cost of service will now be approximately $465,000 annually.
For the transit’s full schedule, see the inside of today’s paper. For more information on BT, visit www.bttransit.org.