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Express bus service between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City planned for 2017

Iowa DOT steering committee soon to set routes, stops

Traffic travels along Interstate 380 just north of Swisher during the evening rush hour on Tuesday, July 2, 2013, in (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Traffic travels along Interstate 380 just north of Swisher during the evening rush hour on Tuesday, July 2, 2013, in (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Iowa Department of Transportation has announced provisional plans for express bus service between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City by 2017.

The plans call for express bus routes linked to Corridor work schedules as well as other routes for Kirkwood Community College students or people who want to take the bus to weekend events, said Brad Neumann, assistant transportation planner for the Metropolitan Planning Organization of Johnson County and member of a steering committee of the Iowa DOT’s Commuter Transportation Study.

“Costs depend on routes and frequency,” Neumann said. “We can’t stop everywhere if you want to get people from Point A to Point B in a timely manner.”

The committee plans to apply for grants next fall to pay for a pilot program, Neumann said. In the next few months, the group will identify routes, determine possible park-and-ride lots and decide whether to hire a private bus carrier or buy buses, Neumann said.

The group wants to start the service before 2018, when the DOT begins construction on the Interstate 80/I-380 interchange, which will remove the cloverleaf entrances and exits.

The bus service is intended to reduce congestion on the crowded interstate. A 2013 Iowa DOT study concluded an expansion of I-380 between Wright Brothers Boulevard SW south to I-80 would be needed by 2020 because of predicted traffic growth.

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