116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
It recently got easier to move around Johnson County without a car.
Iowa City and Coralville transit this month updated their fares to be consistent between the two systems, with all prices staying the same or decreasing. They also instituted a new policy to honor passes and transfers between jurisdictions.
Under the new fares, seniors and people who qualify for some assistance programs can ride for free in Iowa City and Coralville any time of day, and children pay half price for both single fares and passes. Cambus service on the University of Iowa campus remains free for the public.
Fare parity is the first phase in a series of planned changes. Next steps for Iowa City include new routes and stops to provide more frequent service, introduction of electric buses and a Sunday service pilot program. Future updates could include on-demand service during off hours and mobile ticketing.
Those ideas were developed from a multiyear study conducted by Iowa City, Coralville and Cambus. Local officials set out to not only increase transit ridership, but also make it easier to travel throughout the region.
Johnson County is growing and our local economy and culture are interconnected. Work opportunities don’t necessarily match up with available housing, so people need ways to get around the area. With climate action goals in mind, city officials have little appetite to incentivize more individual automobile transportation.
We are encouraged by the recent changes to Iowa City and Coralville transit and in the future we hope to see even more regional collaboration on transit.
Nearby communities such as Tiffin and North Liberty are quickly adding new homes and businesses but lack their own transit systems. For now, North Liberty is served by a Coralville bus just twice each day.
A good long-term goal might be a regional transit system, offering seamless service throughout the county. We can envision a mix of traditional buses and ride-shares that allow most residents to get to work, school or social activities and perhaps link up with transit services in Linn County and beyond, all without driving a car.
That would be one of the biggest intra-government projects ever taken up in Johnson County and would require years of careful planning, but it’s worth exploring as our communities expand.
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