Robins traffic initiatives to hit the road Monday Published Nov. 24, 2010 By Wayne Crenshaw 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Starting Monday, the Macon Transit Authority will begin running a weekday bus route to Robins - "Buses into Robins Daily" or "BIRD" - from the Macon Centreplex. The BIRD is just one of several transportation initiatives aimed at easing traffic and parking congestion on the base. Other initiatives include a dedicated gate for high-occupancy vehicles and a "Round Robins Express" base shuttle from a designated parking area. John Pugh, 78th Mission Support Group deputy director, said the closure of Watson Gate for the next two months makes these initiatives even more important in the base's efforts to reduce traffic and parking congestion. About the initiatives: The BIRD bus transportation will cost passengers $6 a day round trip, but the cost is 100 percent reimbursable for military members and civilian employees enrolled in the Transportation Incentive Program. For more information or to enroll in TIP, call 468-7199. Early enrollment is encouraged to minimize upfront out-of-pocket expenses. Once enrolled and approved by TIP, riding the BIRD is free. Initially, there will be three buses, which will pick up passengers beginning at 4:45 a.m. Also starting Monday, Team Robins members who carpool and vanpool will be able to enter the base with little or no waiting through Gate 12, off North Davis Drive. The gate will be opened exclusively for HOVs from 5:15 to 9:15 a.m. only. Vehicles must have three or more occupants, each of whom must have a valid I.D., in order to use this entrance. Starting Monday, there will also be a free base shuttle service called the "Round Robins Express." It will start from the Air National Guard parking area, west of Bldg. 2336, and will drop workers off at designated stops near major maintenance and support areas.Plans are for the Round Robins Express to run weekdays during peak morning and afternoon commuting hours - from 6 to 9 a.m. and from 1 to 5 p.m. - to help ease traffic and parking congestion in and around high-density areas on the base. Leadership will continually evaluate the programs and make adjustments as needed. Hopes are high the initiatives will make an impact. It's simple math," said Pugh. "If people use these incentives it will mean less traffic coming through the gates, reduced congestion, and freed up parking spaces."