More than 23 million rides are provided annually by Iowa's transit systems. Public transit service is provided in every county in Iowa. Iowa transit systems rely on state and federal transit assistance to make rides available and affordable for Iowans. Local support such as tax revenue, fares, and donations provide a large share of agencies' operating budgets.

David Sturch takes the wheel as MET Transit new general manager

Monday, April 20, 2020

Waterloo--Today’s MET Transit vehicles are a far cry from those Mark Little drove when he was hired in 1980 by the local bus service.

“We started with old 1966 buses with no air conditioning and no heat and no power steering,” Little said. “Now we have bike racks, and they transport wheelchairs. …There are cameras and GPS and electronic fare boxes, a lot of technology.”

Little, who worked his way up the ranks and became general manager in 2005, is retiring at the end of April. He’s passing the wheel to David Sturch, a longtime Cedar Falls city planner, who was hired as the new general manager and started April 7.

Little said he’s most proud of upgrades to the bus fleet during his 15 years as general manager and the improvement in paratransit service, which provides dedicated point-to-point rides to persons with disabilities in the Cedar Valley.

“We have a pretty good fleet of buses both on the fixed-route and paratransit compared to what we had when I started,” he said. “It’s a newer fleet.”

The 60-year-old recalled a time when persons unable to use the bus services due to physical limitations had to rely on dial-a-ride volunteer services to get to the store, doctor or social events.

“When I started there was no service called paratransit,” Little said. “Today we provide a lot of paratransit services, I would say second only to Des Moines.