In work, in socialization, and in their living preferences, millennials are moving into urban spaces. But as we’ve mentioned before, this generation isn’t interested in a lifestyle built from cold steel and concrete. Instead, this largest share of the American workforce is focused on green living and mixed-use spaces, experiential environments designed to enhance the quality of life, rather than remaining neutral from it.
One critical feature in improving urban density and activity is public transportation. Millennials have been shown to drive less, and prefer living closer to city centers and public transit. Those among older generations planning to age in place also value amenities within walking distance, as well as proximity to transit.
The City of Asheville recently announced an evolution in its commitment to promoting active urban lifestyles, job growth, and citizen mobility. As of January 1, 2018, Asheville Redefines Transit (ART) will offer expanded bus service hours on eight of the city’s 18 bus routes. The new schedule adds at least one additional departure to each of the eight routes, with last departure running as late as 9:30pm.
The city currently provides Sunday and holiday service on half their routes. At the first of the year, ART will also provide Sunday and holiday service on all routes. ART will make an additional daily trip to Black Mountain on Route 170 at 11:00am, as well.
“Sunday/Holiday Service and expanded evening service are the most requested service improvements that we receive from the public,” said City Transit Planning Manager Elias Mathes in their announcement. “This service expansion will increase mobility for our citizens and improve access to jobs and affordable housing. The expansion represents a nearly 10% increase in total service hours—a significant enhancement in service that will have a significant impact on the lives of bus riders.”
The expanded service is a result of additional funding approved by Asheville City Council. The funds were awarded after reviewing existing ridership data and surveys, and as a result of extensive public meetings and engagement sessions.
For more information on ART bus services, including route times and maps, visit RidetheART.com.