Hamilton’s BCRTA service could change, based on survey feedback

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Butler County Regional Transit Authority officials are now going to the communities they serve to get feedback on its comprehensive look at the system.

The plan would outline recommendations to grow and improve the system based on the changing demographics and transportation needs within the county, and Butler County Regional Transit Authority Matthew Dutkevics made his pitch to get people to take a survey and provide feedback at Hamilton City Council on Wednesday.

“We’re looking at doing a market analysis, travel demand patterns,” he said to City Council. “We’re listening to what people are telling us, and we’re also taking our own service data and compiling it.”

Dutkevics showed City Council ideas for Hamilton’s service.

“Right now, everything that operates on a fixed route plan is regional and travels quite a distance,” he said. “There are a couple of ideas in this plan that propose some more local service to the city of Hamilton, more circulator-type service for residents and services in the city.”

Dutkevics said there are two scenarios that are “kind of diverging from each other” where they’re trying to elicit feedback from both plans, but “ultimately, what will probably happen is that we’ll take these plans together and try to merge them together based on the feedback we get from the public.”

Overall, the focus areas of the plan are to look at new or improved bus routes, identify needs for bus stop enhancements, funding and finance strategies, fleet and technology enhancements, and support for existing and future operations at transit facilities.

The process began in January with an analysis of the data and the BCRTA’s existing performance. Officials talked with the public and stakeholders, and then developed a draft of some recommendations. Now they’re sharing those draft recommendations to seek feedback from the public.

Information gathered from the public comment phase will be revised for final recommendations for a plan that will be presented to the Butler County RTA board of trustees, likely in Fairfield.

There are three routes that take those in Hamilton to Middletown and Oxford, and to the job connector at the Tri-County Mall in Hamilton County, and there’s a countywide BGo service, which is an Uber-type service for $5 a trip.

A big reason they want to improve is to get people to their jobs.

“Our primary mission is to support economic development through public transportation solutions. It’s jobs,” Dutkevics said. “We are looking at how to connect people to jobs.”

BCRTA is gathering feedback until Nov. 24, and people can share their thoughts virtually at noon on Nov. 16, which people can register and gather information, including an interactive map, on the plan at bcrtatransitplan.com. People can leave comments on the project website.

Additionally, there are paper surveys on buses.

“We really just want feedback,” he said. “We are relying on residents and constituents to try to help us connect to people who do not have digital access.”

About the Author