METRO (Formerly Metro Area Transit - MAT)

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles (and Streetcars!).

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Uffda
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Postby Uffda » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:15 am

Isnt it about time the Omaha World Herald picked up on the thread and did a mult-article on the state of MAT in omaha.... what it is and what it needs to change and where it needs to be? :D

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Postby Zilla » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:17 am

If MAT is so clearly broken and behind the times, can an outside party step in and create an alternate bus/transportation service with all the seemingly simple improvements that MAT hasn't done?  Or is it MAT or nothing?
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Postby Omababe » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:16 am

Zilla wrote:If MAT is so clearly broken and behind the times, can an outside party step in and create an alternate bus/transportation service with all the seemingly simple improvements that MAT hasn't done?  Or is it MAT or nothing?


My guess is that MAT has some kind of standing as a monopoly as some kind of public benefit organization.

However, I did hear that back in the 1960s, the bus service between Omaha and Bellevue was provided by a private company, so there may be some way it could happen. I'm sure this was somewhat similar to the way it is in Chicago with the Pace Bus lines serving the outlying areas. I know that back in NYC when I was growing up, some of the Queens bus lines were private.

I'm sure that if a private bus company could come in, they would want to cherry-pick routes, as in those with the most riders, and not really improve service in the areas where ridership is light.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:50 pm

I don't feel any need to expound on this, as you've all pointed out all the things that are wrong and all the things that need to happen to improve bus transit in Omaha.

This is really probably the biggest blemish on Omaha.

At least we do now have a FREE, late night shuttle between Downtown and Midtown on the weekends thanks to MTC!  :thumb:

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Postby DeWalt » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:45 am

S33 wrote:
Omababe wrote:
justnick wrote:Where are these empty buses?


I often times see a bus as I pass the intersection of 102nd and Fort in the morning. Usually there's only a few people riding it.

The one that loops through the airport is mostly empty.


Pretty much any bus I've ever seen west of 72nd with the Westroads being the only exception.


I live in the east part of Omaha.  Our house is actually on a double bus route.  I NEVER see a MAT bus with more than just a few people aboard.  In fact, most of the time, the buses I see are empty.  No matter what part of the city I'm in, it's always the same story when you see a MAT bus.  Giant buses rambling all over the city with nobody aboard.

MAT is one of the most poorly run, inefficient jokes in all of Omaha.  How/why they stay in business is beyond me.


We desperately need good public transportation for a lot of reasons.  But I don't think MAT will EVER meet that need.  Maybe it's time to completely dump MAT and start over - start from scratch with a completely different organization.

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Seth
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Postby Seth » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:57 pm

[font=Georgia]Firm to help improve bus service[/font]

Omaha World Herald wrote:The Council Bluffs City Council on Monday evening unanimously approved the hiring of a firm to find ways to improve bus service in the community.

The Seattle-based firm, Perteet, “will help strategize increased ridership and increased revenue and find areas to cut costs,” Councilman Matt Walsh said.


Can we get them to come across the river and tell MAT that they suck in Omaha too?

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Brad
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Postby Brad » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:12 am

Seth wrote:[font=Georgia]Firm to help improve bus service[/font]

Omaha World Herald wrote:The Council Bluffs City Council on Monday evening unanimously approved the hiring of a firm to find ways to improve bus service in the community.

The Seattle-based firm, Perteet, “will help strategize increased ridership and increased revenue and find areas to cut costs,” Councilman Matt Walsh said.


Can we get them to come across the river and tell MAT that they suck in Omaha too?


MAT (METRO AREA Transit) does both cities, as well as Bellevue LaVista, etc.
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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:42 pm

Right, but the study is for Iowa. He's saying, can they come over here and tell MAT that they suck here, TOO.

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Postby bbinks » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:47 am

Brad wrote:  
MAT (METRO AREA Transit) does both cities, as well as Bellevue LaVista, etc.


Do you know off hand, how much Council Bluffs, Bellevue, etc. pay to Omaha for the MAT coverage in their area?  Or is the income strictly from bus fares?

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Postby icejammer » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:54 pm

They pay a set amount by contract, which is well above fares received
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Brad
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"METRO" (formerly MAT)

Postby Brad » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:20 am

"METRO" (formerly MAT)

http://www.omaha.com/article/20100823/N ... ha-s-metro

Bob Glissmann
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER wrote:
A new name. A new logo. And 24 new buses.

Metro Area Transit, Omaha's transit authority, announced Monday that it is dropping the "MAT" name and now will go by "Metro." The new logo is a blue "M".

The transit authority is asking the public "to think differently about public transportation," said Curt Simon, Metro's executive director. "This new image shows we are, too."
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Postby TechnicalDisaster » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:51 am

Changing the name and logo will fix all the problems!
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Postby justnick » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:56 am

Gag.
Hopefully it's a step in the right direction.

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S33
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Postby S33 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:10 pm

Yeah, that's pretty funny that they change a name and logo and because of that, they are "thinking differently about public transportation."

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Postby Brad » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:13 pm

If they are honestly trying to change, a new logo is great because its a constant reminder that they are trying to change.  However if its just a dog and pony show for the public, then its worthless.
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Postby Coyote » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:44 pm

Nice to see MAT having to revert to a Jedi mind trick.
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Brad
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Postby Brad » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:14 pm

New webiste too:
http://www.ometro.com/
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Postby DeWalt » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:20 pm

Maybe MAT could start it's road to recovery by doing some really cutting edge things.  Things like, you know, improving SERVICE!  

New buses for MAT is just a band-aid.  They need to be completely torn down and rebuilt from the ground up.

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Brad
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Postby Brad » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:22 pm

Their route map still looks like a bowl of spaghetti.
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Postby mrdwhsr » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:41 pm

S33 wrote:Yeah, that's pretty funny that they change a name and logo and because of that, they are "thinking differently about public transportation."


The concept is pervasive across corporate America. Like New and Improved TIDE and Windows 7.

Is it when we stop believing this stuff that we become old and cynical? :roll:

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S33
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Postby S33 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:58 pm

mrdwhsr wrote:
Is it when we stop believing this stuff that we become old and cynical? :roll:


I'd say rational. Either way, it's not the type of business or public service where marketing gimmicks will improve much of anything - not their service, not their revenues...

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Postby Stargazer » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:13 pm

I have noticed all of the unlabeled new buses all over town.

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Postby nativeomahan » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:28 pm

Let's keep an open mind and give them a chance to show their commitment to the citizens of the metro.  I did like their improved web site, and the fact that they are wi-fi'ing transit centers is a good idea.

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Postby justnick » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:01 pm

Some full size pictures on flickr.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/busfreak99/4921850813

I like the outside. But will they change all the nasty insides.

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Postby nebport5 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:22 pm

Isn't a more obvious logo/name Metr-O or metrO with an "O" for Omaha? Instead of a generic "M".
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Postby Uffda » Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:37 pm

Had to leave my car at the Midas at 90th and Center tonight. Then spent a half hour calling people trying to find a ride home. Saw the bus go by once but had no idea where it was going as no map at bus stop. Looking at the map online now looks like I could have gotten within a mile of home.

As for going to work tomorrow morning.... I need 144th and Fort -- it doesn't get within two miles of there and only in a round about way.

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Postby DeWalt » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:38 pm

So they're going to have a bunch of NEW buses lumbering around Omaha empty.  That doesn't seem like much of an improvement.

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Postby nebugeater » Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:08 am

How many buses are there in the Omaha Metro system?
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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:32 pm

Lipstick on a pig? :)

Anyway, the new web site and the new logo/brand are improvements. The web site now at least seems usable.

The new logo is a big "meh" for me. As people have noted, it seems totally generic and unremarkable. But still, it's an improvement.

What's lacking are service improvements. Maybe the updated look will entice some new riders and the increase in funds will allow for improvements - and hopefully the improvements come in time to keep those same new riders before they realize that the system is a joke and are forced into isolation or car ownership.

What good is a new bus if it doesn't go where you need to go at times that are convenient for you? Also, there's a few new buses - great - but it's still a |expletive| shoot whether you'll get a nice, new one or an old, smelly, dirty POS bus.

I am very impressed with Albany's bus system so far and I will definitely be sharing more about that in the coming months.
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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:35 pm

You are absolutely correct that there should be better transit to your area, but in no way, shape, or form is 129th and Maple the center of town!
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Brad
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Postby Brad » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:54 am

Anyone pay attention to the "Destination" on the front of the bus when you are driving around?  Sometimes they seem really odd...  Either the most messed up buss route or someone forgot to change the sign.  After looking at the map, I think the routes are just that weird.  Next time you see one in your hood, just look where its going.
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Postby OmahaBen » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:39 am

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:You are absolutely correct that there should be better transit to your area, but in no way, shape, or form is 129th and Maple the center of town!


Considering continuous development goes out to the 200's now, 120th ain't too far from the proverbial center of town anymore. Maple's probably too far north, since most development is south, but nonetheless, he's not that far off. I'd probably say 680-Dodge is the new midpoint.

Not that I really care anymore, since my wife dragged us to Ames for her new job and I'm now commuting to Des Moines every day. We're looking to buy a typical suburban (THE HORROR!) house in Ankeny next year to split the commute more evenly.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:50 pm

Omaha is the hub of a much larger region, of which the epicenter is Downtown. In a regional context, the numbers of Omaha's streets are quite inconsequential in terms of identifying a midpoint.
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Postby OmahaBen » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:14 am

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:Omaha is the hub of a much larger region, of which the epicenter is Downtown. In a regional context, the numbers of Omaha's streets are quite inconsequential in terms of identifying a midpoint.


Then, under that definition, I take it you believe the center of the contiguous U.S. is probably NYC or Washington D.C, and not somewhere in Kansas?

Just because you're talking about some political sphere of influence "center," that does not mean the geographical midpoint is somehow invalid or inconsequential. Especially when that's clearly what the first poster meant.

Then again, if I remember right, you disagreed with the common notion that 72nd and Dodge is, or ever was, "the middle of Omaha."

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Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:29 am

OmahaBen wrote:Not that I really care anymore, since my wife dragged us to Ames for her new job and I'm now commuting to Des Moines every day. We're looking to buy a typical suburban (THE HORROR!) house in Ankeny next year to split the commute more evenly.


Sorry to steal the thread but, what does your wife do in Ames?

If you're looking for typical suburban homes, Skankeny is definitely the right place.

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Postby OmahaBen » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:07 pm

TitosBuritoBarn wrote:
OmahaBen wrote:Not that I really care anymore, since my wife dragged us to Ames for her new job and I'm now commuting to Des Moines every day. We're looking to buy a typical suburban (THE HORROR!) house in Ankeny next year to split the commute more evenly.


Sorry to steal the thread but, what does your wife do in Ames?

If you're looking for typical suburban homes, Skankeny is definitely the right place.


She works for the State of Iowa over in Nevada (the town, not the state, for those who don't know central iowa); we're just renting an apartment in Ames for now. It's a small enough office in a small enough town that I'd prefer not to give out more detail than that on here.

Gotta say, living around college kids again makes me realize: 1) how old I'm getting and 2) how much I really, really, want a house, so that when the fire alarm goes off at 3 am, it's because there's actually a fire and not some drunken idiot causing a ruckuss on the floor below.

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Postby Seth » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:09 pm

I guess I was lucky that I only had a fire alarm pulled in the four years I lived in college apartments.  The funny part is that it was 9pm and a we had just walked in when a friend bump it looking for the light switch.  No alcohol involved either!

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Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:44 pm

I eventually just stayed in my room when the fire alarm went off. No one was the wiser.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:04 am

OmahaBen, I get it. You morph and contort everything I say into the most extreme, black and white, convenient, little sound-bite comparison you can think of. (You could be very successful at Fox News or another mainstream news network)

OK? I get it, and everyone else probably does to.
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Postby OmahaBen » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:22 am

I may use the rhetorical tactic of taking a viewpoint to its logical conclusion, but that's because less extreme approaches don't seem to even phase you.

I'll stop trying to take your viewpoints to their logical extremes whenever you admit that opposing viewpoints can be just as valid or agree that sometimes compromise is not only necessary, but the better choice. I won't be holding my breath, though. (For examples, see any of the hundreds of urban v. suburban threads).


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