Metro Bus is proposing replacing Route 32 with a new type of on-demand, shared-ride service within Sartell that picks up people closer to their homes and drops off closer to their destinations.
It is also proposing extending Route 31 beyond Walmart to serve the clinics and businesses on Connecticut Ave. and CentraCare Health Plaza.
Metro Bus designed the new on-demand shared ride service, which it calls ConneX, to increase transportation coverage in Sartell. Sartell is a difficult area to adequately serve using traditional fixed routes.
Metro Bus has scheduled two open houses to educate the public about the proposed service trials. The first open house is 3 – 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Sartell Community Center, 850 19th St. S.
The second open house is Monday, Oct, 8, immediately following the Sartell City Council at Sartell City Hall, 125 Pinecone Road N.
If approved by the Metro Bus Board of Commissioners in October, the pilot program will start Jan. 2.
The open houses will detail the proposed service trials, display the service area map, answer questions and collect feedback from the public.
Current Dial-a-Ride users in Sartell may benefit using ConneX, according to a statement from Metro Bus. If they qualify for Dial-a-Ride only because they are physically unable to walk to the nearest bus stop but could walk to the nearest curb, they could save money. If the trial is approved, ConneX, which provides curb-to-curb service, will cost the same as a Fixed Route fare, $1.25. Dial-a-Ride, which provides door-through-door, driver-assisted service to qualified individuals with disabilities costs $2.50 per ride.