On Oct. 1, the North Platte Public Transit will begin serving the area in a 20-mile radius of the city, in addition to carrying passengers within the city limits, thanks to financial help from the federal government and the approval of the city council.
With the expanded routes, transit buses will carry passengers to and from Lake Maloney, Indian Hills, Hill Crest, Sage Brush and Prairie View for an extra $5 each way if the ride is booked a day in advance, Transit Secretary Susan Marquez said.
Same-day service to those areas will be limited.
The 20-mile area also includes Sutherland, Hershey, Maxwell and Brady, Transit Superintendent Marilee Hyde said.
Looking even farther, for another $5 per one-way boarding, buses will run to Stapleton, Wellfleet, Maywood and Tryon. The cost is $10 each way, Hyde said.
Service to more distant places is possible upon request, depending on availability. Hyde said the expansion is an attempt to increase the number of riders and cover smaller communities near North Platte.
The expanded service is made possible by a CARES grant (COVID-19 subsidy) from the federal government, which paid the entire cost of six new transit buses, Hyde told the council.
She said ordinarily, transit service is subsidized by 90% by the federal and state government.
The council approved the expanded service area, and accompanying rates, on a 7-1 vote Tuesday night, with conservative Ed Rieker voting no.
Hyde also said the transit system has one of the best cleaning routines for COVID-19, using new electro-static equipment.
During the meeting, the council had an extended discussion about waiving an extra $5 one-way fee to and from Sutherland, which Hyde thought was outside the 20-mile radius. However, on Wednesday morning, she discovered Sutherland is inside the 20-mile radius, so there is no extra $5 fee in that case.
Public Transit Fees (effective Oct. 1)
Within North Platte
Same day, per ride one-way inside the city limits — $4.
Early reservation, per ride when booked by 1 p.m. the day before — $2.
Punch Card — 12 one -way rides — $20.
Outside city limits
20-mile radius of city, per one-way ride when booked the day before by 1 p.m. – add $5.
Outside the 20-mile radius – per one-way ride – add $5.