With a plan that developers call the "most substantial change" in their history, the Duluth Transit Authority seeks to "simplify and invigorate public transit" in the Twin Ports.  The Better Bus Blueprint would change the status quo with a better experience as the end result.

According to a news story in the Superior Telegram, the plan is two fold:  Reducing and streamlining routes and prioritizing service to areas that need it.  The article details that the DTA would cut their current route numbers in half - going from 33 to 14 in the process.  At the same time, the Better Bus Blueprint would create "two high-frequency routes to serve as workhorses in the rebuilt network".

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

The plan has many benefits.  Wait times would be reduced for most riders of the DTA especially in those high-demand areas like the Miller Hill Mall, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and various stops in remaining neighborhoods in downtown, West Duluth, Lincoln Park, Spirit Valley, and Superior. It would also do so with greater ease of transfer; as an example - for the first time - a rider could ride "the length of the city from Gary-New Duluth to Lakeside" without having to alighting.

Perhaps the biggest selling points of the proposed plan and changes is that it comes with no decrease in service hours and no increase in cost.  "The plan is cost-neutral".

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For now, the changes are only in the proposal stage.  Timeline for implementation is next summer, but the Better Bus Blueprint needs to pass through some approval steps.  The first of those is public commentary - which closes on August 2.  Next, the proposal would need to "gain the approval of the DTA's board of directors at its meeting in August".

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

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