BRITE acquires transit facility, welcomes provider and new buses

The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission announced the completion of several key milestones since assuming the administration of the BRITE Bus Transit System several years ago.

newspaperBRITE Bus provides fixed-route and on-demand transportation in the Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro (SAW) area. Services are administered by the CSPDC, with operational recommendations provided by theBRITE Transit Advisory Committee (BTAC).

The most recent accomplishments include accepting ownership of the transit operations facility in Fishersville, which is now named the BRITE Transit Facility; awarding a contract for transit service provision to Virginia Regional Transit, which includes placing a new fleet of nine silver buses and one trolley into service. BRITE has also initiated a social media presence in addition to the information available at Transit users can visit @BRITEbus on Facebook and Twitter for updates on routes and real-time service announcements, or for general information or customer service inquiries.

These changes are the culmination of a multi-year effort to study, plan, and execute transit improvements in the SAW area. The process began with the development and adoption of the Transit Development Plan (TDP) in 2015. The TDP is a short-range plan that outlines the transit improvements intended during a six-year planning horizon; estimates what resources will be needed; and identifies potential funding options.

The development of the CSPDC’s TDP was guided by a working group made up of representatives from Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County, along with public and private transit partners.  Additionally, significant input to the TDP was sought through rider surveys and stakeholder interviews.

A primary focus of the projects included in the TDP has been the development of a combined urban-rural system that ties together services operating in the region. To lay the foundation for future growth, the program has accomplished several projects leading up to the facility transfer and new fleet. Between 2015 and 2017, a unified brand called BRITE was launched; the BTAC was formed; transit funding was consolidated under the CSPDC; route improvements were implemented; and transit system bus stops, shelters, and signage have been upgraded.

Following a competitive procurement process, the CSPDC published notice in March 2017 to enter into contract with Virginia Regional Transit as the transit provider for the BRITE system. The resulting contract for an initial five-year period began July 1, 2017.

A ribbon cutting will be held at the new facility in late July. For more information contact Nancy Gourley, (540)885-5174.

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