Transit Development Plan - 2017

Beginning Fall 2016, the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization (GHMPO) and Hall Area Transit (HAT) jointly initiated an update of the Hall Area Transit Development Plan (TDP), which yielded a four-year plan for public transportation within Hall County.  After reviewing proposals that were submitted from various transportation consulting firms from around the region, J.R. Wilburn and Associates, Inc. was selected to complete the new TDP. Through data analysis, driver interviews, public open houses, and peer reviews, the TDP update yielded recommendations for service moving forward in a way that will be beneficial to all within the HAT service area. The new TDP update was published in early 2017 (see below).  
TDP cover

Data Analysis
The TDP examined a wide variety of available data in order to conduct an analysis of the current service area characteristics as well as current operations and finances. Population and employment densities were calculated to highlight areas within Hall County that would be best served by transit. Socioeconomic data was also attained to show high density concentrations of zero car households along with low income, disabled, and elderly populations. Research was also presented on peer transit systems within the state and surrounding areas that highlight best practices for service performance.

Year 1
The TDP findings were broken into four years of recommendations designed to improve the overall transit system. In Year 1, the TDP recommends increasing peak hour headways on all weekday service. 

Year 2
By Year 2, extend evening service hours along all weekday routes. 

Year 3
By Year 3, extend Route 10 northward along White Sulpher Road in order to serve the YMCA, Lanier Technical Campus, and several large industrial plants. Route 50 should be extended southward along Thurmon Tanner Road in order to serve the Oakwood VA Clinic as well as several Oakwood industrial parks. Finally, introduce new Route 60 that will run south from downtown Gainesville, around the airport, and then along State Route 60. 

Year 4
By Year 4, introduce Saturday service along certain or all routes (without an increase in headways during peak hours). 

Transit Development Plan 2017 Documents

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Transit Development Plan - 2008

In July 2007, the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization (GHMPO) in coordination with Hall Area Transit (HAT) initiated the Transit Development Plan (TDP), which served as a five-year action plan for public transportation in Hall County. The TDP was designed to improve planning and delivery of the HAT services through analysis of existing transit conditions and by garnering feedback from the community. Two public meetings, two outreach efforts, stakeholder interviews, and coordination with local jurisdictions were conducted to assess existing sentiments, suggesting improvements and identifying new services. As a direct result of this process, two new routes, as well as commuter bus service were recommended in the final plan.

Hall Area transit logo, a map of the area, a group of people and a bus

Data Analysis

On the analysis side, local census data was gathered to assess routes most likely to attract riders and identify under-served locations. HAT performance measures such as ridership and operating expenses were charted to serve as indicators of the relative success of current and future operations. HAT was analyzed with similar-sized transit systems throughout the nation to study comparisons and whether some aspects of other transit systems should be adopted.

Year 1

The TDP was aligned into five annual recommendations as service options. Year 1 relocated the HAT transfer center to 687 Main Street and divided the current Blue route into Blue and Orange, the Gold route into Gold and Pink and the Red route into the Red and Green routes. A new Purple Route was launched from the Lakeshore Mall to proceed along Atlanta Highway.

Year 2

In Year 2, HAT began a pilot program of flexible routes which combined aspects of fixed route service and demand responsive service (Dial-A-Ride). The new flexible route was along US 129/Athens Highway and allowed pick-ups and drop-offs within 0.75 mile of the fixed route.

Years 3 & 4

Years 3 and 4 foresaw the Purple route extending to Gainesville State College in Oakwood and later to Flowery Branch.

Year 5

Year 5 offered commuter bus service from the park and ride lots along I-985 to possible destinations such as: the MARTA station in Doraville, downtown Atlanta and/or Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.

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