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Published February 08, 2012, 04:35 PM

Transit System Changes in Grand Forks And East Grand Forks May Be Coming Soon

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - You may be seeing some changes to the transit system in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks this year.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - You may be seeing some changes to the transit system in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks this year.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization is recommending changes to improve services and keep buses on time.

Guy Packineau rides the bus to get to work each day, but says the service could be better.

"Anywhere around town you can get, true but I still would like to see it in the industrial places every half hour if not hour," Packineau said.

Packineau rides the bus to work in the afternoons but has to find an alternate way home when his shift is over.

"At night when I close there is no bus after that, then I have to bike it and I ride my bike I don't mind that," Packineau said.

The Federal Government is requiring MPO to addressing some issues with the transit system if it want to continue receiving federal funding.

After hearing input from the public, the city is looking at which routes and schedules to adjust to keep buses on time.

"We're switching from flagging down at any corner to designated stops, focusing our services on Altru and Columbia Mall in particular, those two areas," MPO Executive Director Earl Haugen said.

City officials say there are other improvements they would like to do but don't have the funds. They would like to add a new bus but it costs nearly 200-thousand dollars a year.

"There's a lot of other improvements we'd like to make such as 30 minute headway, covering more area like the industrial park, sunday service always comes up as another request," Haugen said.

Although some of those changes can't be done at this time, the MPO wants to make sure riders like Packineau have a timely, convenient trip.

"That would definitely help out people, a lot of people," Packineau said.

A public open house on the proposed changes will be held on February 23rd at City Hall.

Recommendations will be made in March.

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