CT: Analysis of Norwalk Transit District to shape future system, identifying 'gaps' in bus service

Jan. 9, 2024
The buses run by the Norwalk Transit District are going to the right places, but some gaps exist in the system, according to the first phase of an analysis of the bus service.

Jan. 8—NORWALK — The buses run by the Norwalk Transit District are going to the right places, but some gaps exist in the system, according to the first phase of an analysis of the bus service.

"The comprehensive operational analysis is an opportunity to basically look at all of the existing transit service that is provided by the Norwalk Transit District," said Greg Nordin, from the transportation firm Nelson Nygaard and Associates, who is conducting the study.

"It's basically evaluating that service, how effectively it's doing its job," Nordin said. "Proposing recommendations to help make that services operate more efficiently, making sure that the services are going to the places where people are going and at times of day that people are traveling, and just basically making sure that public transit service is doing its job as effectively as possible for the city of Norwalk."

Last year the fate of the Norwalk Transit District was at risk after state Sen. Bob Duff, D- Norwalk proposed a bill to dissolve the local bus service. Duff later with drew the bill. Soon after, Norwalk's comprehensive operational analysis began.

Over the past few months, Nordin and his team have evaluated Norwalk's bus service system by studying ridership data, demographics and travel flow to determine the existing conditions of the transit district.

"Essentially, we're at that point right now where we've identified the gaps within the transportation network," he said. "And the next part of this process, which will be in the spring, is really looking at what tools are in place to basically address those gaps."

Although the existing conditions show that Norwalk's buses are going where people want them to, the routes, schedules and frequency may need to be adjusted to meet the travel demands of Norwalkers, Nordin said.

"As part of that work, we looked at the underlying demand for transit within Norwalk, about how much desire there is for public transit," he said. "Then we also looked at and compared that to the transit services that are operating today and making sure that those services ... are meeting those goals."

Matt Pentz, Norwalk Transit District director, said over 200 responses were received in the survey. The next step in the study is a gap analysis. Nordin said they plan to obtain public feedback in a meeting in February.

"We'll take that information, make sure that we're incorporating that public feedback, and we'll make a final recommendation later this spring," Nordin said.

The results of the study will guide the city's transportation plans for the future. Norwalk has invested in expanding sidewalks, revitalizing corridors and improving overall streetscapes through recent initiatives.

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