Summary From Workshops

Four community “listening sessions” were held in Benson, Bisbee, Douglas, and Sierra Vista on October 19-20, 2016. The workshops allowed local residents, stakeholders, and SEAGO staff to communicate openly about the regional mobility needs and priorities.  Below is a summary of some of the items discussed during these sessions.

  • We need more public transportation options between neighboring communities. Transportation within each community in Cochise County is important, but also to regional destinations, such as Tucson.
  • Potential services must include an advocate/volunteer to ride with the elderly to appointments. Under some private programs the advocate/volunteer must also drive their own vehicle. If public transit were available, the advocate/volunteer would not have to be a driver. More people are likely to volunteer knowing they don’t have to incur the cost of driving or do the actual driving.
  • Many patients arrive at the hospitals in Sierra Vista and Bisbee via ambulance, yet have no way to return to their homes.
  • An inter-city service would allow people to go to the movies, go shopping, etc. in other communities if transportation became available.
  • Providing a route/loop every 30-60 minutes would encourage more users. It would translate to convenient and reliable options.
  • Some of the funding should be used for marketing, rider education, and travel training.
  • There is a desire to feel more connected with Tucson and the rest of Cochise County. For example, you cannot buy a Greyhound bus ticket in Benson except online. Implementing the proposed service would result in more connectivity.
  • Networking and collaborating with the neighboring communities is a must in order to make this as successful as possible.
  • Reliability (on-time performance) of the inter-city transit routes is a concern. They need to be reliable if people are going to depend on them to get to work, appointments, etc.
  • Inter-city vehicles/buses need to include bike racks.
  • Educating and marketing to the public is a necessity. Ensuring people know about the service will allow for more users, translating to sustainability.
  • While this would be a general public service, the initial users are likely to be low-income individuals or seniors.
  • ViCAP currently provides volunteer transportation to seniors and others. The proposed inter-city service is not intended to replace ViCAP, but will enhance its ability to serve the community. SEAGO is working closely with ViCAP throughout this project.
  • Consider day service from Bisbee to Sierra Vista on the weekdays, but reverse on the weekends. Bisbee has better nightlife than anywhere else.
  • It was suggested Copper Queen Hospital in Bisbee make routine appointments during bus service hours. Doing so would allow more people that have routine appointments to get the care they need.
  • Reporting for jury duty in Bisbee can be a hardship as there is no public transit service.
  • There are high school students that attend school outside their home community (mostly Bisbee and Sierra Vista). Be sure to reach out to the schools to assess possible demand.
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