CATABus Network Redesign, State College

individual independent project | ongoing
created for use by Centre Area Transportation Authority

For a transit agency, improving frequencies without raising revenue requires compromise. This project assumes the State College community is willing to reduce coverage service to increase service focused on ridership. By eliminating all peak-only routes, which mostly duplicate more frequent routes to provide service closer to riders’ residences, frequencies on all other routes can be increased to levels where schedules are no longer necessary for users.

Proposed intensified transit network

The addition of a busway spine through the center of Penn State’s campus would allow for further consolidation of routes and subsequent increases in frequency. Currently, there are only two strong corridors serving Penn State Campus and Downtown State College, both east-west: Curtin Rd on campus and the College Ave/Beaver Ave one-way pair downtown. This means high-ridership CATA routes are split into trunk services, serving both corridors in an inefficient loop, and express services, which only serve the Pattee Transit Center at the edge of the dense core.

The dense core is too dispersed in the north-south direction to be served with one east-west corridor. Instead, a north-south central busway would allow trunk lines to branch in both directions on both existing east-west corridors, serving the central core with higher efficiency, eliminating reverse branching, and allowing for more apparent route interlining through the core. Increased ‘Loop’ shuttle service would travel the entire length of both existing east-west corridors, allowing riders to access destinations away from the busway spine.

Potential base system map

Generally, corridors would see similar to substantially increased frequencies all day on weekdays and would see even larger increases in the evening and on weekends. The corridor generally following Atherton Street north would see doubled frequencies to attract future dense development. This development could include my proposal for dense, walkable neighborhoods along Atherton Street.

Proposed route frequencies