Tag: q

Fresno Eliminates All-Door Boarding on “BRT” Route

A small announcement appeared on the FAX website last week: fareboxes are being added to buses on Route 1 (Q) and all-door boarding is being eliminated.

Fareboxes will soon be installed on Route 1 – BRT buses.  Once installed, passengers must board through the front door and use the farebox to: Pay in cash, Validate ride cards, or Activate passes 

FAX

On Twitter, I confirmed with the agency that all-door boarding will end, even for those who choose to pay at the machines.

Pre-payment and all-door boarding was one of the only “BRT” features that hadn’t yet been eliminated. As a reminder: Click to read more!

A Final Look at Construction on Fresno’s New Fake BRT Line “Q”

Fresno’s new fake “BRT” (bus rapid transit) line, branded as “Q” is set to open Fall of 2017. Well, that’s what the website says.

Key Dates
Construction Kickoff: June 2016
Construction: 2016-2017
Testing: 2017
Launch: Fall 2017

In reality, the bus line was delayed yet again to February or March of this year (originally, it was expected way back in 2012).

And this time they really mean it, so they’re hosting public meetings to educate people on what the bus line is. The first one is this week:


Shaw & Blackstone Corridor
January 17, 2018 | 5:30 pm–7:00 pm
Tornino’s
5080 N Blackstone Ave
Fresno, CA 93710 

Quick aside: This is a complete failure of public outreach and engagement. Asking people to come to YOU, on a certain date, at a certain time is public outreach in name only. FAX knows where the customers are (on the bus and at the stations). FAX should come to the people. Nobody is going to take time and money out of their day to go to a random location to hear some official talk about a kiosk. Worse: The three meetings are in the same time period (5:30pm-7pm) so anyone who works during those hours is out of luck.

Depressing. I recently read about a city which launched a new bus service and advertised it by mailing info to every house within 1/4 mile of the route. That’s outreach.

Also, at some point they should maybe tell the public how this will affect the two existing bus lines that currently run on Blackstone and Kings Canyon. I’ve yet to see any information about that.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the construction shortly before the new line opens. This post looks at a regular stop in Blackstone, the Manchester Transfer Center, and the Van Ness stop by the Courthouse Transfer Station.

Previous updates:
September 2017
January 2017

We start at a random bus stop on Blackstone and Clinton. This location previously had a regular bus stop, shelter, and bench.

Like all the Q bus stops, the sidewalk was pushed out into the roadway. This is because the stations require extra space, and because it means the bus doesn’t have to pull out of traffic. Pulling out slows the bus because drivers don’t let the bus merge back in.

Oddly enough, this stop already had a shelter and bench, so the sidewalk was already wider. They actually REMOVED sidewalk in this process….why?

You can see the sidewalk to the left is all even, rather than extending back a bit towards the store. This actually causes the “newly widened” sidewalk to have a narrow pinch point. Couldn’t those electrical boxes be kept in the back?

IMG_0251_32591

On the other end, the sidewalk extension doesn’t go all the way to the corner. Why?

IMG_0252_32592

Here’s looking north.

IMG_0253_32593

And with a bus that didn’t stop.

IMG_0254_32594

Some people have worried that extending the stop out has made the lane too narrow. Nope. Look at the blue car in relation to the width of the lane. The sidewalk could have been extended another 5 feet or more.

IMG_0255_32595

The stops have bicycle racks.

IMG_0256_32596

Garbage cans.

IMG_0257_32597

A semi-transparent roof. I don’t know what’s up there.

IMG_0258_32598

This stop was not fortunate enough to get seating with back support.The stop previously had two benches, so this is actually a downgrade.

IMG_0259_32599

There are now ticket machines.

IMG_0261_32601

IMG_0262_32602

They take credit cards

IMG_0263_32603

Everything is in English and Spanish.

….except the “language” button. Really. Oddly, “Cards” is in white text in English, while all the other English is in black text.

IMG_0264_32604

The map is still locked away

IMG_0266_32606

The (unnecessarily large) electrical box is to support the kiosk and also a time estimate, although I didn’t notice a screen.

IMG_0268_32608

And one last look.

IMG_0269_32609

Now we move to the Manchester Center Transfer Center. This place closed a year ago. When I visited in August, I was shocked at how little progress had been made at what is the busiest bus stop in Fresno.

Four months later, it’s not looking much better.

IMG_0315_32655

A year of construction and they couldn’t even level the place.

IMG_0316_32656

IMG_0318_32658

For reference, this is what the old shelters looked like

IMG_0496_24964

IMG_0319_32659

IMG_0322_32662

A lot of FAX buses will stop here. The stop at the end is for Q.

IMG_0320_32660

Very similar to the previous stop we looked at.

IMG_0323_32663

The ticket kiosk and map.

IMG_0324_32664

But two benches, one with back support, one without.

IMG_0326_32666

This trash can is open for business.

IMG_0327_32667

There are bike racks, but they were installed incorrectly. They should be rotated 90 degrees, or else you can only lock 4 bikes rather than 6.

IMG_0328_32668

Note the location of the push button. This is a good installation. The location we’ll look at downtown was installed badly.

IMG_0329_32669

The Blackstone crosswalk. This was built brand new in 2016…and then never opened. They ripped it all up and built it again. Your Fresno money at work. (Although the newer design is much better). However, the push button is not well located.

IMG_0330_32670

(The pedestrian crossing is functional, I pushed the button and it quickly changed)

IMG_0332_32672

IMG_0331_32671

IMG_0333_32673

From the parking lot.

IMG_0340_32680

And now we go downtown to the Courthouse Transfer Center on Van Ness.

Q will stop at island platform, the other routes along the courthouse park like always.

DSC_0330_32337

Same design here as the other stops.

DSC_0331_32338

DSC_0345_32352

Except this one has a longer roof than the random stop on Blackstone. Only one bench though.

DSC_0334_32341

Other direction

DSC_0341_32348

DSC_0349_32356

New crosswalks built to the islands at a new signal. Remember earlier how I called out the push button? These are badly installed because they are relatively out of the way.

DSC_0340_32347

DSC_0351_32358

One thing they did do well is install the vehicle detection. See the circle and lines in the pavement? That’s how the traffic signal knows a bus is waiting. A bus can stop behind the white line, load, and then when ready to cross, move forward to trigger the traffic signal. (As long as the drivers are told to do this).

DSC_0342_32349

The angle of the red/green arrows is a novelty in Fresno. But the signal on the far left is a waste of money.

DSC_0350_32357

The other shelters in the transfer center were updated. I think the design is pretty cool, but I love Art Deco.

DSC_0336_32343

DSC_0337_32344

For reference this is what the old ones looked like. They were horrendously ugly, but they provided a lot more cover.

Is it too much to ask for the shelters to be both attractive and large?

IMG_0300_24770

That’s it for the Fresno FAX Q update!

Service is supposed to start soon, and hopefully it improved the lives of those using the bus system to get around. Faster boarding will speed up trips, and buses every 10 minutes (during peak hours) will be well used.

Shame it took a decade to built what many other cities call “standard bus service.”

My next post will be a look at construction inside the Manchester Center Mall. The new food hall was supposed to open this winter, will it? (Hint: No).

Fresno will finally expand bus service past midnight on weekdays!

With a population of 520,000, Fresno is not a small town. And yet until now, the bus system, FAX, has acted like it serves a population of 50,000. Currently, service ends before 10pm on weekdays – all trips depart their last run around 9pm. On weekends it’s even worse – the buses are in their garages by 7pm. =&0=&