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WATA wants to expand routes

tjefferson@vagazette.com

The Williamsburg Area Transit Authority wants to slowly expand its reach.

WATA director Zach Trogdon said more route development is occurring further out in James City County, which is stretching the running time limits of the routes.

Trogdon briefed city council during its work session on Tuesday. He said he wanted to focus on building a relationship with council since most of his staff is new.

Trogdon, who was named director in May 2017, said WATA is looking at a route that goes by Mounts Bay Road.

Trogdon said every six years, WATA is required by law to take a comprehensive look at its services, the last study was done in June 2016.

Since June 2016, WATA has changed 26 routes, according to Trogdon, in order to improve on-time performance and to reduce the strain on the drivers as the routes didn’t allow for breaks.

WATA currently has 11 fixed routes. Fixed routes are those that run on time and come every 30 minutes, Trogdon said.

Looking forward, Trogdon said WATA is looking at building shelters and stops and improving rider technology in 2018.

“We have opportunities out there that we can improve in the short term which is mostly amenities,” Trogdon said.

WATA communications representative Michele Canty said the organization is grading which bus stops need shelters.

Trogdon also said his organization wants to continue improving its technology and eventually have an app.

“We’re always working to make sure all the technology on our vehicles are working,” Trogdon said.

WATA buses have a real time passenger information system on its website that allows riders to find out when buses are coming.

Riders can also text “goWATA” for estimated route arrival times.

Trogdon said some of the challenges his organization faces include staffing, ridership, more concise data and funding streams.

Jefferson can be reached by phone at 757-790-9313.

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