KX News has been following public transit issues at Gateway Mall. Earlier this week, Gateway Mall said it would no longer allow Bis-Man Transit buses on its parking lot. Since our first report,progress has been made.
For 30 years, Bismarck-mandan residents have used this bus stop on the north side of Gateway Mall’s parking lot. But the owners of the mall say they’re fed up.
“They cause damages to the parking lot. They create potholes,” said Raymond Arjmand.
Bis-Man Transit doesn’t pay to use the space and therefore does not contribute to damage repairs. Arjmand claims, most of the damage in the parking lot is caused by the buses. However, he says the problem does not lie with the para-transit, but the CAT buses.
Arjmand added, “From time to time, maybe one or two patients go to the VA clinic or they go the hospital. We don’t have a problem with that. The one we have a problem with is the CAT bus system.”
It would seem bus traffic would increase mall traffic which is beneficial for sales, but Arjmand says those who use the CAT buses hardly ever come in his doors. So he’s paying the price for repairs, without the customer sales to back it up. But despite the parking lot problems, drop off’s from both buses will continue
“He is allowing the para-transit buses to continue to come in, and we are discussing ways to find a solution that will be beneficial both to the mall as well as the community,” said Roy Rickert, executive director for Bis-Man Transit.
For the mall, the solution is simple: a partial contribution to the repairs. However for Bis-Man transit, it’s not that easy. The board would have to approve any negotiations going forward.
In 2011, Gateway Mall asked Transit to pay an annual $5,000 dollar fee for parking lot repairs. They rescinded the proposal after backlash from the community.