GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The City of Greensboro wants to make the city car optional, and a big piece of that is public transportation. The city is preparing to make some massive changes to the number of bus stops and the frequency of routes.

On Wednesday, they launched the first phase, which is hearing from the community. There are two big questions they are asking the public: Are you willing to pay to invest in public transit? How should the city spend that money?

You can give your answers at upcoming public outreach sessions and an online survey. They want to hear from people who have never taken public transit and people who do.

“I come through … five days a week,” said Christy Richardson, who passes through the depot every day on her way to work. “I like the bus transportation so far. It could be improved.”

Those suggestions are exactly what the city wants to hear. There are two map proposals. The first one is a ridership concept that would increase the frequency of service in some major corridors from 30 minutes to 15 minutes.

“I think that would benefit everybody … especially if people have to be at work on time … or want to be home with their family after working a hard day,” Richardson said.

The second is a coverage concept that would add new stops and service more areas in the outskirts of Greensboro.

“Some new stops will be really beneficial,” said Regina Fulcher, who rides the bus most weekdays.

Either concept comes with a price tag of around $27 million that mainly funds staffing and other operational costs. That money would have to come from general funding or a half-cent sales tax across Guilford County.

The tax for the average family would be about $9 a month.

“This is a really big deal for Greensboro, and it is a really important investment in time and energy to understand what people want to get out of our transit system,” Transportation Director for the City of Greensboro Hanna Cockburn said.         

The Greensboro city manager says public transportation is just as important as investments in housing and other areas as the city is growing.

“We are attracting a lot of development opportunities. Those people are going to need places to not only live but a way to get to work from where they live,” City Manager of Greensboro Taiwo Jaiyeoba said.

Equitable access to transportation is a conversation Councilwoman Sharon Hightower has been having with people in her district for years.

“They talk about how long it takes, and that has always been a problem. You have to ride quite a distance for a long period of time simply if you are just going to the grocery store,” Hightower said.

But the question is: are you willing to pay for the changes?

Tell the city how you feel in the online survey. It will be open until Nov. 15.

You can also go in person to a community event:

October 1: Art in the Arboretum from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Greensboro Arboretum

October 9: Ole Asheboro Neighborhood Association Meeting from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Nettie Coad Apartments

October 12: Virtual Workshop from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. via Zoom. RSVP to attend

October 21: Ghoulash! Halloween Festival from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at LeBauer Park

October 24: GoBORO Open House from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at J. Douglas Galyon Depot

November 3: First Friday Event with Noches Latinas from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lebaur Park

November 8: GoBORO Pop Up from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Walmart at Pyramids Village

November 8: Music in a Bottle from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at LeBauer Park

November 14: GoBORO Pop Up with the Hopper Trolley from 11 a,m. to 2 p.m. at SouthEnd Brewing on Lewis Street