Riecken Announces Public Transportation Position



    The city of Evansville’s Public transportation system must be upgraded.   Evansville citizens deserve the best public transportation system possible. Addressing transportation issues in Evansville, there has to be a mention of the critical need to repair streets and crumbling sidewalks in all areas of Evansville. Attention to rough and dangerous streets and sidewalks is a serious safety issue. This will be a priority in the Riecken administration. We will talk more or streets and sidewalks in our Quality of Life statement.

    Any mention of transportation must include a commitment to I-69. The Riecken administration will have a plan to advocate for funding for the completion of I-69 in Indiana and the bridges over the Ohio River at Evansville. This will be a priority advocacy effort in the Riecken administration.

    Public Transportation Position Statement

    The Riecken administration will lead efforts to upgrade the METS system for Evansville citizens to make taking public transportation a more enjoyable and efficient experience for everyone involved.  The Riecken administration recognizes that for many the METS system is not just an option but the only means of transportation.

    A study by a local engineering group is to be public in July. The study will open the door to discussion of public transit, which has been a sorely neglected subject in this city, largely because the need to use bus service does not impact the lives of the people who make decisions concerning public bus services.

    As our population ages and incomes rise only slowly compared to the rest of the state and nation, the need for public transportation becomes more urgent. While the Riecken administration plans to begin reversing that trend, it will not happen overnight and a good public transportation system will make Evansville more attractive to potential employers and potential new residents.

    Transportation is a vital element for our community for safety and for future economic future. It is the responsibility of government to provide transportation but the future of bus transportation in outlying areas is also the responsibility of business and industry located there.

    The Considerations to be researched below will open the door to long past due improvements and hopefully, increase “choice” ridership. By attracting more riders, the City will generate increased funding for transportation, reduce traffic congestion and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Many of the “fixes” to the METS system are quick, easy and inexpensive. Some are more complicated and costly and I look forward to the study’s findings that address the more technical and costly solutions to making necessary improvements.

    The Riecken Administration will: 

    Prioritize the needs of working citizens and students.  

    • We will work to meet the needs of second and third shift workers to develop bus routes and schedules so that they can get to and from work safely seven days a week.
    • We will review the needs of students to get to and from local campuses, including the new medical school and prioritize their concerns.
    • We will work with the state and federal government, business, universities and industry in an innovative manner to secure partnerships, public and private, and grants for funding of certain routes.
    • We will first work to develop a system across Vanderburgh County, then expand to a more regional program with surrounding counties. We will work to partner with the surrounding counties and cities to look at ways to alleviate the added cost for expansion of service for workers.

    Develop an improved service environment.

    • Institute a Community Advisory Board that will provide ongoing community input about ways to improve the METS system.
      • Examples: If riders are expected to carry on a limited number of bags, that expectation must be communicated. If buses are expected at certain times, buses should not arrive early and leave before the scheduled time. If riders are stranded due to high volumes, a resolution to avoid that situation should be designed. When complaints of drugs at the main transfer point or the need for trash cans or the display of routes and other information are voiced, community input will lead policy makers to the best decisions.
    • Communicate interruptions or delays. We will actively put information out on Twitter and Facebook. Getting through phone lines is not always easy and riders must know about delays, notices of alternate routes, rules in addition to schedules.
    • Promote courteous treatment of passengers and passengers respecting drivers. Recognition should be given to employees who deliver excellent customer service and incidents of rudeness by a driver or inappropriate behavior on the part of a rider must be met with immediate action.

    Improve safety and provide better bus stops. We will improve bus stops to help the rider feel safer, get out of the elements, and obtain information about the specifics of the route. Our goal is that the majority of bus stops will have an enclosed structure. Passenger pick-up points that do not have sidewalks or are adjacent to deep ditches and/or muddy and flood when rain must be critically reviewed. ###


    1. “Many of the “fixes” to the METS system are quick, easy and inexpensive. Some are more complicated and costly and I look forward to the study’s findings that address the more technical and costly solutions to making necessary improvements.”

      Comment: I don’t think this is a ‘position paper’. It lacks any details. Might as just as easily said, ” If I am elected, I plan to overhaul the METS bus system . . . .”. . From a credibility standpoint, if you say ‘many of the fixes to the METS system are quick, easy and inexpensive . . . ” NAME THEM. Document that they are not in place today, and if Winnecke tries to steal your thunder by implementing them himself, call him out on it !

      • Here’s a free observation from afar, with all the efforts the place is putting into addressing public safety around that town, using the actual bus stops can enhance that. How? Seek better “illumination” at the bus stops with improved street lighting, And add a light pole mounted real time security camera system to the grid, managed and monitored jointly by the central dispatch and the METs systems.
        If one is going to add a improvement add it as a multiple use tool to enhance transportation and safety of the general population. This would also serve as a useful device “positive”, in some future investigations into the goings on in some sections of your city. One would assume some federal urban transportation funding would be generous with such a overall plan, as well.


      Mayor Lloyd Winnecke is already doing this. Public transportation and infrastructure are vital components of Evansville’s way of life, which is why he took action on making these improvements a long ago.

      The City of Evansville plans to erect or replace fifteen new shelters at bus stops around the city this year, which is an increase over the standard annual increase of five. Furthermore, Winnecke helped spearhead a METS Comprehensive Operations Analysis that began in 2014 and is set to conclude mid-July. The analysis will cover all aspects of the METS system, identify poor performing and well performing routes, and will include recommendations for changes in services or fare structure.

      As for the I-69 Bridge between Evansville and Kentucky, Winnecke has been a supporter of the project from day one. He partnered with Henderson Mayor Steve Austin, and other community leaders, to form BridgeLink, a bi-state advocacy coalition building a coalition of support for the project between Indiana and Kentucky.

      It appears Gail needs to catchup on what is going on within our City and Mayor Winnecke’s leadership action plans that are already in place.

      Submitted by : Wayne Parke

      • I see you’ve made no mention of Winnecke making any efforts on improving our streets and sidewalks.

    3. It’s nice to see both candidates supporting public transportation. However, everybody(especially politicians up for election) is always for everything on the wish list, UNTIL it comes time to raise the money and write the checks.

      So all these proposed improvements are great but where is the money coming from and where does public transportation improvements stand on the priority list?

    4. Streets and sidewalks can do more for our pride and image than a motel, and I’m glad to see both candidates have that on their campaign radars. BUT, there is a 20 million dollar financial hole in our economic highway. How are either you going to bridge that when all I hear is decreased revenue and increased spending?

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