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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Transit officials moving quickly to increase efficiency on little-used bus routes

By Bill Wilson
The Wichita Eagle

Wichita transit officials are moving quickly to address inefficiencies in two little-used bus routes that survived the City Hall budget axe on Tuesday.

Transit director Mike Vinson said his office should have proposals this summer to cut costs on the west-side connector and the Goodwill bus route in northeast Wichita. Both routes were proposed for elimination to bridge a $500,000 transit budget shortfall, but the city council chose instead to cut some citywide programs and maintain the routes.

During that Tuesday meeting, council member Jeff Longwell said he wanted some cost-cutting ideas for the little-used west-side connector, which handles only about 52 rides a day at an annual cost of about $80,000. During a Friday transit board meeting, Vinson said he was looking at absorbing some of those passengers into other west Wichita routes, such as the West Maple and West Central routes.

Transit officials also are considering a smaller, more fuel-efficient van to transport the seven to 10 people a day who use the northeast Wichita Goodwill route to 37th and Oliver.

Vinson also said he’s examining increased airport bus service, with a goal toward providing 30-minute service all day.

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