How your input can improve the FAX Bus service

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A significant investment in public transportation. That's a move the City of Fresno is ready to make but they want to hear from your first. (KFSN)

The Fresno Area Express was designed back in the 1960's for a much smaller city and city leaders need your help to restructure service for a city that has grown tremendously in the last 50's years.

Catching a bus in the City of Fresno is a little difficult in some areas and city leaders want to change that. Before they make any major decisions, they want to hear from your first.

"Do you want us to start providing or looking at ways to provide services to areas we currently do not serve or do you want us to look at increasing the level of convenience so that using public transportation is something that you would consider," said City of Fresno's Interim Assistant City Manager, Bruce Rudd.

City leaders say over the last four to five years there has been a significant decline in ridership. The recession and new forms of transportation like Uber or Lyft are partly to blame. Another reason the City of Fresno has grown in all directions over the last 50 years.

"The system is essentially an extension or an adaptation of the same system that was around in the 1960s. Nothing has really changed. We just extended service further, further north in order accommodate growth," said Rudd.

Rudd says areas like the El Paseo Shopping Center in Northwest Fresno and the Clovis Community College Campus in Northeast Fresno have no bus service. Public input on a series of workshops next month could change that but changes are happening now with FAX 15 and bus rapid transit services to increase ridership.

"If you were to drive down either Blackstone or Ventura you would see that there is very little traffic control. Everything has been pulled out. So the concrete work has been completed and they are installing the last shelter canopies," said City of Fresno's Director of Transportation, Jim Schadd.

The city's Director of Transportation says bus rapid transit will be ready to go in the new year picking up riders every 10 minutes on routes like Blackstone and Van Ness Avenues in Downtown Fresno.

Meanwhile, FAX 15 along Shaw and Cedar Avenues are already helping increase ridership. The first of eight public workshops will be held this Saturday at Fresno City College from 11 A.M. until 1 P.M.

After the workshops, an analysis will be complete in the spring and we could see changes on FAX service by next summer.

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