November 16, 2017

Salina, Kansas – The new fixed route bus service from Belleville to Salina, 81 Connection, will continue complimentary fares for all riders through the end of December 2017.

“With the upcoming holiday season, we wanted to make it easier on people to get around north central Kansas,” said Michelle Griffin, Mobility Manager for the region.  “By continuing our complimentary fares, we can make sure that happens.  Ridership has been gradually increasing the past few months and we want to continue that trend.”

Starting January 2, 2018, regular fares will apply.  Basically one-way fares are $1.00 from town to town.  A trip from Belleville to Salina will cost $4.00.

Passengers will pay the exact fare to the fare box on the bus.  The driver will not make change.

A Salina CityGo bus pass is included in the Salina fare.

Additional fare options are available for frequent riders.  A six trip ticket strip (6 tickets worth $1.00 each) will be available for $5.00.  A punch card with 24 punches worth $1.00 each can be purchased for $20.00.  A monthly pass for unlimited rides during the current month can be purchased for $50.00.  Locations to purchase these options will be announced at a later date.

The 81 Connection bus service has three bi-directional trips each day, Monday through Friday.  The first route starts in Belleville at 6:45 a.m., then heads south on Highway 81 to three stops in Concordia, a stop at the Highway 24/Highway 81 junction, a stop in Minneapolis and stops at 7th and Walnut and Wal-Mart in Salina and then heads back to north to the same stops.  The bus runs this loop twice and finishes in Belleville around 5:40 p.m. each day.

A second bus leaves Salina at 1:00 p.m. and heads north on Highway 81 to the same stop in Minneapolis, the stop at the Highway 24/Highway 81 junction, three stops in Concordia and the stop in Belleville, before heading back to Salina with the same stops.  The bus finishes in Salina around 6:00 p.m. each day.

Poles and signs have been installed at the stop locations.  Riders can find stop and time information on each pole.

The 81 Connection is operated and managed by OCCK Transportation.  Initial funding for the project came from the Earl Bane Foundation, who provided the 30% local match, as well as the Kansas Department of Transportation, who provided the remaining 70%.

For more information about the 81 Connection and Kansas Rides, visit www.ksrides.org.  For more information about OCCK, Inc., visit www.occk.com.  For more information about CityGo and OCCK Transportation, visit www.salinacitygo.com. Or, contact Michelle Griffin, Mobility Manager (mgriffin@occk.com), or the OCCK Transportation Center at 785-826-1583.

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