GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Could Greensboro really be a city where you don’t need a car to get around by 2045?
That’s the aim of the city’s new transit director Reginald Mason.
He wants to see radical changes, including the use of autonomous vehicles, less street parking and faster bus service.
He’s worked in cities like Phoenix and Atlanta in the past, and the lack of walkability and cross-town bus routes are among the biggest concerns he wants to address.
A woman in Greensboro named Anna rides the city bus every day to work.
“I like it. It’s very good,” she said, waiting for the bus on Wednesday afternoon.
But other than work, getting around is a challenge. When asked if she wished the bus went to more places, she said, “Yes.”
“The current system we have … is a hub and spoke system where all of our buses go into the depot,” Mason said. “To provide better service for folks who ride the system, we should look at more cross-town routes and more frequent buses than every 30 minutes and an hour.”
He wants changes.
“We are looking at that currently … to add some routes where we can do cross-town service.,” he said.
For people without a car, that could be life-changing. Sometimes, people walking to work have no sidewalk access.
Mason’s goals include advocating for more sidewalks, bringing back scooters and making sure people with disabilities are equally served by the transit system.
“Accessible stops where our disabled passengers, instead of riding the Access GSO vans, ride buses. I would prefer them to ride the buses than use those vans,” Mason said.
He commended the trial run of the Hopper Trolley but knows ridership drastically declined after its rollout.
“I think we need to look at other avenues to service Elm Street, possibly an autonomous vehicle that we could use on Elm Street,” Mason said.
He also says reducing street parking downtown and encouraging parking garage use will make the city more walkable.
“We are going to make Elm Street a more walkable street, a more pedestrian-friendly street,” he said.
A transit survey wrapped up this week after several public engagement sessions. Those results will be released soon.