It’s here at last. Starting Jan. 5, ART buses will run more frequently, with an increased focus on improving on-time performance.
There are so many improvements to bus routes that the City of Asheville put together an online resource page titled Service Changes January 2020. On this page, riders will find new route maps and schedules. These have already been printed and are also available at the ART Transit Station, 49 Coxe Ave.
The service improvements are designed to make riding the bus easier with the added convenience of two crosstown buses that won’t require transfers. Here are some highlights:
- New crosstown bus, WE1: Combines former routes W4 and E1. Runs from the VA Medical Center to Asheville Mall through downtown down Patton Avenue and turns right onto New Leicester Highway. This route will now extend into Buncombe County to the Erwin schools area.
- New crosstown bus, WE2: Combines former routes W3 and E2. Runs from the Goodwill Park-n-Ride on Patton Avenue to College Street downtown where it continues to Tunnel Road past the Asheville Mall and VA Medical Center, ending past Veterans Restoration Quarters to Porters Cove Road. Again, no transfer will be needed to ride the extent of either of these two crosstown buses.
- S4 route: Returns service to Bartlett Arms Apartments, serves Asheville High and Middle schools as well as A-B Tech. This bus will now run every 30 minutes.
- Three West Asheville routes along Haywood Road: These include W1, W2 and W6. They all vary a little bit in terms of where they branch off along Haywood Road. And additional stops have been added. If you are trying to get downtown quickly, perhaps to transfer to another route, you’ve got increased frequency with these three routes.
- Bus connections from UNCA to A-B Tech: The N1 and N2 buses have new schedules, and will continue as the S4. This means you can ride the bus from north Asheville along Merrimon Avenue and UNCA to A-B Tech without needing to change buses.
- Route 170: Increases service from downtown Asheville to Black Mountain from five trips to eight trips a day. Offers service to the Haw Creek area with added new stops.
While bus service frequency is increased, fares remain the same: $1. That’s because Asheville City Council allocated an additional $1.2 million in funds to support this year-one implementation of the Transit Master Plan in the adopted Fiscal Year 2020 budget.
With the rollout of these improvements, ART ambassadors will be circulating at the ART Transit Station downtown to answer questions and help guide riders. If you have a smartphone, it’s a great idea to download the Transit App, which offers real-time bus route and arrival information. You can visit RideTheArt.com for more information as well.
Earlier this year, the system was renamed to Asheville Rides Transit. And the hopes with these system changes more people will!
Let’s get rolling, everyone. Hop on the next ART bus that comes your way!
Prepared by the City of Asheville.