After a year of crunching the numbers, Public Transit in Dickinson is preparing to launch the initial phase of its fixed three route bus system.
“The Shopper Shuttle will run Monday through Friday. It will consist of thirteen stops. Some of those main stops will be Downtown Dickinson, DSU, and also Walmart,” said Rose Drake, Operations Manager for Public Transit.
Dickinson’s population has grown over the years , and for out- of – state students at Dickinson State University, a reliable source of transportation is huge.
“The main thing we need to do is get groceries and get to Walmart or Family Fare, and without a car it is kind of tough to do that,” said Reggie Fields Jr, DSU Student.
A round trip on the Shopper Shuttle will run about $4.00, and Fields said that it is a lot better than relying on your feet to get around town.
“Having a fixed route like what Public Transit is trying to provide would be great for the students and the community”.
Public Transit would like to get to start the Shopper Shuttle in the Fall, but they would eventually like to expand to a larger fixed four route system.
“Some of the obstacles were are facing right now would be funding, staffing, and the logistics of planning this throughout the city,” said Drake.
Drake said that right now they have about four transit buses that hold about 12 to 15 passengers, and if they expand the routes in the future and increase ridership, they would have to graduate into 40 – 60 passenger bus.
Public Transit said that the estimated cost for expanding the routes and the bus fleet would be around $1.5 million, but they are exploring funding options.
” . . . the DOT and the City of Dickinson , so a lot of out funding would come from that, as well as, fundraising,” said Drake.
Public Transit said they would like to have the routes in operation by October , and they will still offer rides on demand.