JAUNT Commuter Service Ready to Roll in August

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A JAUNT express bus line between Crozet and Charlottesville has been funded by the Albemarle Board of Supervisors and is set to launch service on August 5. JAUNT representatives described the plans and aims of the service, dubbed “Crozet Connect,” during the April 10 Crozet Community Advisory Committee (CCAC) meeting.

“Crozet Connect is all about making connections,” said Mary Honeycutt, JAUNT mobility manager. “We’ll be able to take people who work at U.Va. or Sentara Hospital directly there, and we’ll also link to CAT buses, University Transit Services, and other local short distance services such as bikes and scooters in Charlottesville.”

“Transit alternatives provide both individual and community benefits such as safety and productive commute times, as well as reduced congestion, emissions, and parking,” said Stephen Johnson, JAUNT planning manager. The JAUNT team is striving to develop a Crozet system that focuses on elements like proximity to home/work, access to nearby services, minimum ride and wait times, attractive pricing, and vehicle amenities such as free Wifi and USB charging ports.

As currently envisioned, Crozet Connect’s goal is a 45-minute travel time at $2 per ride, running the route as an all-day service with buses that can hold 23 to 28 people. “We’d like to develop partnerships with local businesses in Crozet to provide park-and-ride, bike racks, and even driverless vehicles to solve that first mile/last mile problem of people getting from their homes to transit stops,” said Johnson. 

After conducting two community surveys in 2016, JAUNT is finalizing its “Route 1.0,” the first version of a path through Crozet that combines the best pattern of stops, timing, and route to make sure the bus runs smoothly. In developing the locations of bus stops in and around Crozet over the next few months, JAUNT would like to incorporate as much community input as possible. 

“We really would like your feedback, and that’s available in several ways,” said Honeycutt. “You can take a photo of a spot where you’d like a stop to be and send it to us on social media at the hashtag #CrozetConnect via Facebook or Twitter, and you can ask us any questions that way, too.” Residents can also send an email via RideJaunt.org (click About and then Feedback at the bottom). JAUNT representatives plan to hold a public meeting on May 15 at 7 p.m. at Crozet Library, and they’ll be on hand at Crozet Community Association and CCAC meetings in May, June, and July. 

A vote of confidence for the service came from CCAC member Katya Spicuzza. “I see [JAUNT] delivering people all over the place in Charlottesville, and those are the kindest drivers I have ever seen,” she said. “Literally gentle, kind, and thoughtful, and I think that’s a commendation to you all.” 

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