by TaLeiza Calloway – email@example.com
Busing services provided by the Tri County Action Program on Thursdays in St. Joseph will end after a recent city council vote.
Tri-CAP recently informed the city ridership is too low to maintain the route. The city weighed the option of paying for the continuation of the scheduled bus service Feb. 7 but unanimously voted not to move forward with the service due to cost.
This is the second adjustment to bus service in the city. The route went from two days a week to one day a week in 2011 due to the radius of Tri-CAP’s service area shrinking last year and budget reductions. The twice-weekly bus service in St. Joseph began in 2009. Through the collaboration of the city, St. Benedict Monastery and the St. Joseph Lions Club, the city entered an agreement with Tri-CAP. The cost of the contract was about $2,400 with each unit contributing $800.
St. Joseph City Administrator Judy Weyrens said it would have cost the city about $54 per hour and $324 per week to keep the Thursday service. The prices include the cost of fuel, the driver and the bus, she told officials during the council meeting.
“It would’ve been quite costly,” Weyrens said. “The nice thing is residents can still use the Dial-A-Ride service.”
Last year, the city had 534 one-way trips. Overall ridership last year did not meet transportation requirements from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Weyrens said. MnDOT requires five passengers per hour in cities and three-plus passengers per hour in rural areas. St. Joseph has about 2.79 passengers per hour in the city and about 1.46 passengers in rural areas. The last day of the route is still being determined.