After months of planning, North Liberty’s first intracity bus route has begun shuttling passengers across the growing community.
City officials will celebrate a rollout of the new transit system at 10 a.m. today at the North Liberty Living Center, 410 Asley Court.
The service — which officially started Oct. 10 — runs from 10:25 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on weekdays and makes five loops on a predetermined route within the city.
The fare is $1 per ride, with Medicare and Medicaid cardholders eligible for half-price fares.
Amy Johnson, chairwoman of the city’s transit task force, said the hope is to eventually expand the service to reach more residents.
“The great thing about starting like this is we can kind of gauge what the in-town ridership will be,” Johnson said. “It is definitely our goal to grow the bus service and the transit service in North Liberty, and this is just our first step in that goal.”
Johnson said the task force will meet again in a few months to discuss feedback and re-evaluate the service.
The service is being funded by a $50,000 dedication made earlier this year by the council.
Some of that funding was used to contract with Johnson County’s SEATS paratransit service to use one of the fleet’s buses for fixed routes in North Liberty.
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SEATS contracts with several communities in Johnson County for paratransit services but has never provided fixed route services before.
North Liberty’s only other transit system is a single route from downtown Iowa City to North Liberty provided through a contract with Coralville.
The route started in 2006 and averages 68 riders a day, but five to 12 of those are picked up in Coralville along the way.