The city of Peoria has launched a transit survey seeking resident feedback on the current and future transportation methods to help the master planning process.
The transit master plan community survey will be open until March 12 for those who live, work and attend school or other activities in Peoria.
Peoria residents voted to approve the Plan Peoria 2040 general plan on Nov. 3, 2020, which calls for master planning efforts for various modes of travel to provide an efficient transportation system in the growing city.
Projections of an additional 100,000 residents and 26,000 jobs over the next 20 years put a spotlight on the need to expand the city’s transit services as the population grows.
As the city grows, Transit Manager Cathy Colbath wants to ensure residents can be mobile within the community, and the transit plan will evaluate that, she said.
The plan will consider opportunities to improve access in the city with opportunities for autonomous vehicles, local buses, circulators, paratransit and express commuter buses. For higher-capacity services, the plan includes commuter rail and bus rapid transit.
“The first step of this master planning process is evaluating what we currently have and then asking our residents what they like, don’t like, and what they envision for the future of Peoria public transportation,” said Peoria Public Works Director Kevin Burke.
Consisting of about 17 questions, the survey allows residents to give feedback on the current and future transit services in the city.
Several questions ask residents to indicate their level of support on expansion ideas like expanding transit services west on Northern Avenue to the city border, north on 83rd Avenue to Happy Valley Road and west on Bell Road to the city of Surprise.
Currently transit service in Peoria is limited to south of Bell Road.
Additional questions include providing a regional connector service that would allow access to Peoria, Glendale, Surprise and other West Valley areas.
For more traditional ways of transportation like bus routes, the survey indicates adding an express bus route to North Phoenix/Deer Valley employment center and providing a limited stop bus service on Peoria Avenue connecting to the Metrocenter light rail station.
“One of the exciting things going on in transit is that as technology changes, transit is able to respond to that as well,” Colbath said.
Changing technology included in the survey includes implementing autonomous vehicles and electric bike and scooter share programs.
“Now, driverless cars, electric vehicles and a sharing economy all point to an exciting time of change that may again shift our daily habits and redefine how we interact in and out of our city,” Mayor Cathy Carlat said. “I encourage you to take part in the creation of Peoria’s transit master plan that will position us for a successful future in this changing environment.”
The survey can be found on the city of Peoria website, cityofpeoria.gov, under the transportation tab.