LEHIGH ACRES SUNDAY SERVICE
Passengers were interviewed at the Homestead bus stop by abetterleetran to ask them about their views on bus service to the Airport and Gateway from Lehigh Acres (an idea which proved to have a three-out-of-four endorsement.) When asked about other improvements which LeeTran could provide, passengers also voiced the idea of extending Sunday service to Joel Blvd, so this next question was posed to LeeTran at the TDP Workshop:
The primary basis upon which a decision should be made about "operational design" should not be based on "wait time," but on the time it takes to get to where one is going after one has entered the bus! Moreover, for patrons who could take the bus, but cannot, (because they live closer to Joel and E 12th St. than to Homestead Plaza,) it should be noted that their "wait time" is until "until Monday!"
Let's take a analytical look at how LeeTran prioritizes frequency over coverage. Suppose someone from Lehigh wants to go to Lover's Key for a Sunday afternoon at the Beach. Here is LeeTran's present schedule for service out to Lover's Key:
We can see that it takes an average of 244 minutes (over four hours) to get from Lehigh Acres to Lover's Key despite 15 outbound trips! Here is the schedule for the return trip to Homestead from Lover's Key:
Here the average transit time is even longer, 271 minutes (over four and a half hours.) Thus, Lehigh Acres residents will need to plan to spend over eight and a half (8.5) hours on the bus to make a simple Sunday trip to the Beach!
The Pulse Plan does in fact have fewer trips in and out of Lehigh, but the "trade-off" is that more passengers are picked up on Leland Heights and Joel Blvd, and the time on the bus is quite a bit shorter! Here is how the Pulse Plan (only six outbound trips) would handle an excursion to Lover's Key and back:
Even though there are only six outbound trips, the actual total number of outbound and inbound Pulse trips is 19 as compared to LeeTran's 22 -- only three trips difference! More importantly, the round-trip transit time is greatly reduced. To LeeTran's total of eight and half hours round-trip time, the Pulse Plan has an average of only five hours and 42 minutes -- a savings of two hours and 54 minutes! Not only do patrons save on their transit time, but more passengers are picked up as well! In view of these facts, is the prioritization of "frequency over coverage" justified? And should LeeTran's concern over "wait time" weigh more than picking up willing passengers or should it receive a greater priority than the amount of time a passenger actually spends on a bus? A passenger's time before they get on the bus is their own time. Consequently, LeeTran should be more focused on the service they provide to the passenger after they get on the bus, and not on the time before they get on the bus (which in the case of Lehigh passengers who live off Joel Blvd. is no time at all!)
LeeTran says they are "prioritizing" frequency over coverage, but there's no reason for the prioritization based on any facts or figures (like the number of passengers picked up on Sunday by the 110 Route!) The fact of the matter is that LeeTran is failing both to pick up willing passengers and to deliver them in a timely way to their destination! Ultimately, favoring frequency over coverage in this case for Lehigh Acres on Sundays cannot be justified!
And the following question referencing the previous paragraph was published by LeeTran after the TDP time for questions and answers:
LeeTran means 250 "unlinked passenger trips" per day, which is the number of times a passenger boards a bus during the course of a day. With fifteen outbound trips and fifteen inbound trips, that comes out to eight and one-third (8.33) passengers per bus trip in and out of Lehigh. Most of LeeTran buses can hold up to forty passengers, so the capacity of the buses is running about 20% capacity on Sundays. The Pulse Plan runs eight trips into and eight trips out of Lehigh on Sunday, for an average of about 16 passengers per trip, or 40% capacity on the bus. The point is that more passengers can be picked up with less trips, which would make service more effective, which would extend coverage throughout the County and it would not even exceed 50% capacity on the Lehigh buses! Moreover, regular service to Sunsplash Water Park in Cape Coral could be made available to more people in Lee County as a result as well.
See ---> Sunday at Sunsplash