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.

Service reduction feared with fewer transit dollars

Thursday, July 17, 2014
JoAnn Butt, a resident at Faith Lutheran Home, knows better than anyone the importance of Region 2 Transit bus.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, she travels to a dialysis center in Charles City, where she has treatment. It takes four hours. She boards the bus at 7:15 a.m. and returns back to the home at 1:30 p.m.

“It’s not something I like to do, but this means my life,” Butt, 77, said of the treatments.To lose that source of transportation would “be awful,” she added.She is one of several who Region 2 Transit takes to various medical appointments, dialysis treatments, and scores of other trips. 

Riders pay $3 per one-way trip. But officials worry about maintaining a level of regional transit services in the face of declining federal dollars.

Kevin Kramer, head of transit services in an eight-county North Iowa area overseen by the North Iowa Area Council on Governments said temporary funding fixes have kept the 92-bus fleet intact, but he is not certain that will continue at the current level. 

He said in the past, $7 million in federal transportation dollars have financed the transit program in Iowa. Last year, in comparison, “we received $1.2 million.”

The rest was back-filled with state dollars approved by the state legislature. Read more from this article in the Mitchell County Press News....