The future of Bismarck’s bus system is still unknown.
Bismarck’s City Commission and Bis-Man Transit have been at it for months, trying to find a way to continue service, while remaining financially viable.
As Ben Smith reports, tonight Commission meeting was more of the same.
Weeks ago, The Bis-Man transit board proposed increasing fares and reducing hours for ParaTransit in order to save money.
City Commissioners said to come up with another plan.
One that would have less effect on the people who need the system the most.
“Nothing has changed, they didn’t even make changes to what they proposed before,” says Trevor Bennett, ParaTransit customer
Bis-Man Transit is set to loose 500 thousand dollars by the end of the year under the current system.
“We project we’ll be in a deficit spending mode over the next few years. Reserve funding source. We project by spring of 2019 that if we don’t make a change, that will be depleted,” says Ben Ereth, Bis-Man Transit
One ParaTransit customer spoke up at the meeting, with an idea to use outside companies for transportation help.
“We’ve got a lot of vehicles in the city that are accessible for wheelchairs through HIT, PRIDE, and nursing homes and various other agencies. We can use these vehicles and staff at agencies to help the people that can’t get to work because of the transit shutting down,” says Charley Spencer, Bismarck
City Commissioners did not approve any changes to the system.
They also denied a request to meet with the full Bis-Man Transit Board to reach a solution.
Bis-Man Transit is hoping for a decision soon as they will have to soon negotiate contracts with their drivers.