Beginning on Monday, Capital Transit buses will operate on a new route and schedule downtown. It will be the most significant change of downtown routes in 30 years.
Passengers boarding on Franklin and Fourth streets will have new times for buses to Douglas and the Mendenhall Valley. Buses no longer will go to the cruise ship terminal on South Franklin Street. Passengers there will catch the bus in front of the library. Buses will continue to make pickups at Pocket Park and on Fourth Street.
Buses will also board passengers at the shopper's parking lot on Main Street. Bus drivers will take a 10-minute break at that parking lot. They used to rest in front of the cruise ship terminal.
"Not going to the cruise ship terminal will reduce the conflicts between tourist activities and bus services," said John Kern, general manager of Capital Transit. "The change will also allow buses to better maintain their schedule."
During tourist seasons, buses are normally five to 10 minutes behind schedule.
Beginning Monday, passengers also can ride the bus on Franklin and Fourth streets for free. The Main Street bus stop, the most used of all the downtown stops, will be the center of downtown transit service.
"The bus passenger waiting area at Main Street provides the largest space and best shelter from wind and rain in the downtown area, Kern said. Further improvements will be made next year to make the Main Street stop more comfortable.
The changes wont affect other routes. Bus stops on Willoughby Avenue, the Federal Building and Glacier Avenue as well as other points along the Douglas and Mendenhall Valley routes and their schedules will be the same.