Riders Concerned about New Bus System Proposal

The transit system announced in July a plan that would cut back on costs.
After some time to review their options, they have a new plan they think benefits the most people while keeping the system financially sustainable.
Some people are not happy with the proposed changes.
These two men can often be found outside the Patterson place apartments, waiting for the bus.
They estimate about three fourths of the buildings residents also use Bismarck’s ParaTransit bus system on a regular basis.
“They’re people that don’t have another option,” says Trevor Vanett, ParaTransit Rider
The door to door bus system runs 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
But an change in operation coming from budget cuts could mean it would only run throughout the day.
And even less on holidays.
“The cut on holiday hours, so you can’t even go to the 4th of July Fireworks, they’ll be closed at 4 o clock.  On Christmas, people can only see their families until 3 o clock,” he says
ParaTransit would also be open to the general public in the evening, once the regular buses stop.
It’s all an effort for Bis-Man transit to streamline operations.
This could mean higher fares, and fewer routes.
It also means cutting back on the Paratransit’s 24/7 availability.
That’s something that’s normally found in bigger cities.
“The service that we provide now is unlike any small system in the country that I’m aware of.  The cuts that we are making is a financial sustainability issue,” says says Roy Rickert, Bis-Man Transit
Rickert says Veterans with an ID could ride Paratransit for half price under the new system.
Also, people who qualify for the ParaTransit could ride the regular CAT bus for free.
Still these two riders are hoping the bus will come up with a different plan, one that won’t affect their only mode of transportation.
“This is for the people that really really need, they need to get around and do things.  It’s not fair to put it on us,”
While there will be less total routes, Rickert says the busses will run more often.
There is also a new route that will service U Mary, South Walmart, and the Bismarck Airport.
Rickert hopes that will increase ridership and in turn, make them more financially stable.
Bis-Man Transit is holding a public listening session to hear what people think about the proposed changes.
Its at 6 tomorrow night at the Bismarck Public Library.

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