BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — You’ll find them driving around Bismarck and Mandan, taking folks to where they need to be, and now, they’ll be undergoing some changes.
KX News has more from the Bis-Man Transit building.
Every five years, Bis-Man Transit undergoes a review process for its development plan. Now, they’re looking to get some input from the public.
In previous years, officials say the nonprofit organization focused more on getting feedback from services in their plan. This year, however, the plan is more focused on the fiscal side of things, because they’re currently operating under a $1.3 million deficit.
“Right now, we’re funded through the Federal Transit Administration, property mills, and then some local revenue through our advertising and bus fares,” said Executive Director Deidre Hughes. “That’s not enough for us to continue operating in the situation that we’re in right now.”
One way that they’re looking to close the gap is through a minimal tax increase with maximal benefits.
“It was discussed the opportunity to possibly ask for additional mills through the city of Bismarck and the city of Mandan, that one isn’t viewed as favorably as the alternative — which would be a tenth of a cent sales tax. With that tenth of a cent sales tax, we would be able to close that gap and maybe have some leftover funding where we could look at additional services that we could offer the communities,” Hughes said.
Hughes says the sales tax plan is in the developing stages and would need to go to a vote for the taxpayers, and that’s why reviewing the development plan is so important. She says you might not use the transit service, but there’s still a need for it in our area.
“Transportation is a major barrier for people who are either new to our community, or maybe are lower income, so, having the public transit service around is trying to help the economy in the best way that we can,” added Hughes.
Hughes says taking a look at the plan can help you understand the system.
“I think it’s important for everyone to understand the structure, where our funding comes from, what our goals are, and what we need to continue operating, so we’re not in a situation where we have to have substantial service cuts that might impact someone that you know or yourself,” said Hughes.
The transit plan will be accepting public comments until October 24. To see the plan and give your input, you can find it here.