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May, 2008 - SMAC in the News

MAT Responds to Public Requests

Western Community Action (WCA) will introduce its new and improved fixed summer transit route schedule Thursday, May 15 in coordination with the Southwest Marketing Advisory Center (SMAC) and the Southwest Center for Independent Living (SWCIL).

WCA’s Marshall Area Transit (M.A.T.) launched Marshall’s first ever transit route system in January. The initial route schedule focused on two main route lines, which ran the same route in opposite directions. Based on public requests and route data, MAT modified their current route system to better accommodate the needs of Marshall citizens.

Route changes include new hours, additional route stops, and new community transit bus route stop signs.

“With the current cost of gas, it is vital MAT be able to provide a service which is not only user friendly, but one that meets the ever growing needs of this community,” said Chelsea Young, managing director of SMAC. “A cheaper means of transportation should be an available option for this community.”

That’s exactly what MAT is aiming to do. Route costs are a dollar fare per trip.

“With the rising costs of gas, it’s an impossible price to beat,” said Young.

The transit system will run from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. with no break over the noon hour. All route stops are scheduled at the same time every hour.

The route begins at the YMCA, traveling downtown and to Southwest Minnesota State University before continuing the loop back to the YMCA. While many of the stops are still the same, added stops include Parkview Apartments and Susan Drive, which was previously the Shopko stop. Other scheduled stops include Susan Drive with access to Running’s, Shopko, Starbucks, Culvers, and KFC/A&W; Wal-Mart; HyVee and County Fair.

The community transit bus route stop signs will be posted at many of the route locations. Additionally, three bus shelters will be placed throughout the route—one outside of City Hall with the other two locations to be determined.

“Adjusting to a fixed route service has been a learning experience for customers as well as staff. Riders need to be waiting at the bus stop locations at the designated stop times. They need to be visible and ready to board the bus,” said Jeanette Aguirre, transit director of WCA. “As with any route bus service, if no passenger is visible, the bus will keep moving.”

The summer route schedule will be available at Western Community Action, SMSU, the YMCA, and on transit buses. For more information, contact the Community Transit program of Western Community Action at 537-7628.

For further information, call 507-537-7102 or e-mail:

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