by Dennis Dalman
There’s good news for bus riders in Sartell
A pilot service dubbed ConneX, has been extended through the rest of this year, to Dec. 31, 2019. It is an on-demand ride service introduced to Sartell in January by the St. Cloud-based Metro Bus.
Metro Bus Chief Executive Officer Ryan Daniel said the service has been steadily gaining ridership since its inception six months ago. Extending ConneX, he added, will allow Metro Bus time to gather information about ridership trends and overall performance of the service.
“We will see how ridership changes with summer weather, the U-Go-Free ride program and adults and kids participating in summer activities,” said Daniel.
New weekend hours
Daniel noted ConneX will have new weekend service hours. Starting July 1, the new hours will be from 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturdays and from 8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. Sundays.
Through the month of June, the operating hours will remain the same: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturdays; 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sundays and 6:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. Those weekday hours will remain unchanged through the rest of the year. Only weekend hours have been adjusted.
Connex is a curbside service based on call requests. If someone wants a ride, that person calls Metro Bus ahead of time to schedule a pick-up time. The bus then stops by the residence or the nearest place from where the call for service was initiated. Ride requests are accepted 15 minutes before the start of service each day and 15 minutes before the end of service each day.
To request a ConneX ride, call 320-251-RIDE (7433).
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.