System Redesign Study

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Timeline of Study: July 2016 - June 2017

CyRide began a System Redesign Study in July 2016 to visit its route structure and schedules to determine if we are providing the optimal transit service to the Ames community as CyRide is operating virtually the same route structure at 4 million passengers as it does with nearly 7 million today.  The $187,000 System Redesign Study is financed by the Ames Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and the CyRide Transit Board .

A consultant, Nelson Nygaard was hired to help  develop changes to CyRide's existing transit system that will benefit the Ames and ISU communities in the future. The consultant began by developing a market analysis of the Ames community and where transit would best serve the Ames area.  From there, numerous public meetings (formal public meetings and informal pop up meetings) as well as surveys (passengers, CyRide operators, non-riders, on-board origin-destination) were conducted during the fall 2016 for the purpose of gaining suggestions to improve the current route structure.  

Initial Scenarios:  From the market analysis and public input, the consultant developed two service scenarios (Scenario 1 and Scenario 2) for consideration which includes route realignments, as well as changes to frequency and when service starts and ends on each route.  All, or part of the changes from each scenario, was considered for future implementation. However, CyRide's board also considered new scenarios based on final public input from the March 2017 public meetings and the online survey, which concluded March 15th. The input obtained allowed CyRide's Transit Board to better understand how the alternatives might impact the community as they make their decisions.The initial two scenarios developed through this System Redesign process can be viewed below:

Preferred Recommended Scenario: 
The System Redesign Study consultants modified the two scenarios presented to the public, based on input received from the community.  This new scenario, called the "Preferred Scenario" was presented to the Transit Board of Trustees at their March 28, 2017 board meeting and included service changes from both previous scenarios.   A copy of this preferred scenario map and frequency/span table is listed below:

Revised Preferred Recommended Scenario:  Upon presentation of the "Preferred Scenario" to the transit board at their April 13, 2017 board meeting, an extensive discussion about the benefits and challenges of implementing this service plan occurred, with direction for further study of specific route modifications.  The result was further refinement of the Preferred Scenario.  This final, adopted plan called the "Revised Preferred Scenario" and frequency/span table is listed below.
The CyRide System Redesign documents are available below:

Next Steps:  Following adoption of this plan at CyRide's April 13th Board meeting, the System Redesign consultants will be developing implementation materials to move this plan toward reality.  Specifically, preliminary schedules, a phased implementation plan, further clarification of major transfer locations and a list of additional services that could/should be implemented if additional funding can be secured will be completed along with a final report anticipated in later summer or early fall.  CyRide staff will then begin preparing schedules, modifying bus stops and preparing internal paperwork needed to implement the changes.

Additional information will be posted over the summer and fall as more details about timing of the implementation of changes contained in the final, Revised Preferred Scenario are developed.  However, we anticipate these changes will occur at the earliest in the summer/fall 2018. 

For questions regarding this study, please email CyRide at or call 515-292-1100 and ask to speak with Sheri Kyras (Transit Director) or Shari Atwood (Transit Planner).