SALINA, KS –  OCCK’s CityGo bus service will debut a fifth route next month in North Salina, giving residents there better, faster access to doctors, stores, and more.

The Green route will debut February 2nd in North Salina, adding 22 new stops, 5.4 miles of bi-directional service, and providing a faster connection to key places, such as Comcare, retail businesses, including the new Save-A-Lot store on Iron Street, and Lakewood Middle School. Travel times will greatly improve, as well. For instance, passengers traveling from 13th and North streets to the Sunset Dillons will be able to arrive in just 5 minutes, compared to 28 minutes now on the Blue route.

CityGo has achieved considerable success since its debut in 2008. Ridership is often at or near capacity, and total ridership in 2014 was 234,856. The familiar green buses safely and quickly shuttle more than 900 riders every day on four fixed routes (red, yellow, blue, and purple) to work, school, doctor’s appointments, and shopping. Even so, CityGo was not as easily available to residents who worked or live in North Salina. The Green route will fill this void and will ease crowding on Blue route buses. The last time CityGo launched a new route was in 2010, when the purple route debuted.

OCCK is grateful to the Earl Bane Foundation for its generous $60,000 grant, which was awarded this fall and will go toward the operation of the CityGo Green route in 2015. OCCK depends on funds from the Kansas Department of Transportation and the City of Salina to operate CityGo. Money generated through bus fare and advertising revenue reduces OCCK’s match for KDOT funding. KDOT will contribute 70 percent of the total operating budget for the new route, and the Earl Bane Foundation grant will cover the difference. CityGo will use the reminder of the grant monies to cover the cost of two new drivers, signage, fuel, maintenance and other expenses incurred during the green route’s first year.

Passengers have agreed that the north side of Salina was underserved and would greatly benefit by the additional route. Workers will have better access to jobs on both the north and the south sides of town; reduced ride times will allow better access to retail stores; and many students at Lakewood or Central will be able to ride CityGo to class.

“I believe it would be beneficial for CityGo to have a fifth route,” said regular Raymond Mettling, a Salina resident and CityGo passenger. “There are many times during the week when the Blue route is overfull at the time it leaves 7th and Walnut, just to stay full to the brim until it completes the route.”

Another passenger, Scott Williams, added: “I ride the Blue daily. The thought on splitting the route is a good one. It would save the north end rider a lot.”

To learn more about CityGo or to see a map of the proposed route, please visit www.salinacitygo.com or call Debbie Atkinson at 785-826-1583.

About CityGo

OCCK Inc., in partnership with the City of Salina and the Kansas Department of Transportation, operates and manages CityGo fixed-route transit service. CityGo spans the city from North to South and East to West with four routes (soon five), noted by colors on route maps and bus stops: red, blue, yellow, and purple. Service runs from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, with more than 150 fixed bus stops citywide and a Wave and Ride option in select areas. Fares for the CityGo buses are $1 for a Single-Trip Pass (recommended for one-way trips), $2 for a Day Pass (recommended for two-way trips and transfers), $5 for a 6-Trip Ticket Book, and $35 for a Monthly Pass. Children 10 and under ride free. For more information about CityGo, call 785-826-1583 or visit www.salinacitygo.com.

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