In this undated photo, residents wait to board a Rover bus operated by the Murfreesboro Transportation Department in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (TMP File Photo)
Rover Public Transit System will add service west of Interstate 24 and southeast of downtown Murfreesboro, Assistant Transportation Director Nellie Patton recently announced.
The change will be effective Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013.
The extended service west of I-24 will run hourly and circulate through Medical Center Parkway, John Rice Boulevard, Saint Andrews Drive, Cason Lane and The Avenue Murfreesboro.
At a location off Gateway Boulevard, this route will link with the Gateway Route thereby providing a connection to the transfer hub and other Rover routes.
A slight revision to the Gateway Route was necessary to accomplish this connection, Patton said.
The Mercury Boulevard Route will also be extended to an hourly route and will offer increased service to the southeast area of the city as well as across the campus of Middle Tennessee State University.
This change will incorporate the current service being provided by this route into the extended service.
The Murfreesboro Transportation Department and Rover drivers have received numerous written requests for service to the area west of I-24, as well as better access to MTSU.
Since the relocation of the Social Security Office to Saint Patrick’s Court, ridership on the Northwest Broad Route has been minimal.
Portions of the Northwest Broad Route, which previously ran along West Northfield Boulevard, Sulphur Springs Road, and Heritage Park Drive with below average ridership, are being eliminated to accommodate this new extended service.
Other portions of the Northwest Broad Route that were previously duplicated by other bus routes will continue to be served. The Northwest Broad Street bus will be eliminated.
Rover bus stop signs will be placed along the west of I-24 route, called the Westside Loop, and the extended service incorporated into the Mercury Route to denote areas of pick-up, Patton said.
Courtesy stops will also continue to be honored along this new route and service extension.
After an in-depth analysis of the Rover Public Transit System, including scheduling, operational and financial considerations, it was determined that incorporating these modifications can be accomplished within the confines of Rover’s current operational costs and schedules, she said.
The service increase to west of I-24 was also recommended by Transystems Inc., a national consulting firm that completed a service assessment of the Rover Public Transit System in August 2010.
This increased service to west of I-24, extended service to the southeast area of the city, and decreased service to Sulphur Springs Road and Heritage Park Drive area, are scheduled to begin as well.
New routes guides detailing these changes will be published and available to the public before the end of the year.
Public comment regarding the decreased service along West Northfield Boulevard, Sulphur Springs Road and Heritage Park Drive can be made by calling the Rover Operations office at 615-217-6837 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
All comments will be addressed.