Lextran schedules 3 public meetings on changes in service

kward1@herald-leader.comJuly 2, 2013 

The current Lextran headquarters and bus garage at 109 West Loudon Avenue in Lexington.

CHARLES BERTRAM | 2013 STAFF FILE PHOTO — Herald-Leader Buy Photo

Lextran has scheduled three public meetings to discuss proposed changes that it says will improve efficiency.

Bus schedules might change on weekends and on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day; Lextran officials are considering alternatives for the two jobs bus routes that shuttle people to and from work on the night shift; and Lextran might adjust schedules for the Southland BCTC and Centre Parkway Connector routes. The meetings have been scheduled for:

n 1 p.m. Monday at Lexington Public Library's Eagle Creek Branch, 101 North Eagle Creek Drive.

n Noon Tuesday in Conference Room A at the Central Library, 140 East Main Street.

n 6 p.m. July 15 in Conference Room A at the Central Library.

Lextran's staff has recommended that on Saturdays, all routes would run at 70-minute intervals, rather than the current 35-minute intervals. Lextran spokeswoman Jill Barnett said in an email that ridership on Saturdays was about half that of weekdays. On Sundays, Lextran is considering combining routes to reduce the number of buses in service from 13 to eight.

On Christmas and Thanksgiving, Lextran is considering operating from 9:45 a.m. to 7 p.m., Barnett said.

Barnett said Lextran officials have not decided what to do about the jobs buses, a subscription-based service that picks up and drops off nighttime workers at bus stops nearest their workplaces and homes. For several months, Lextran has been evaluating ways to cut costs for the service while still helping ensure that riders have a way to work. She said she did not expect a decision to be made until public comment had been heard.

Barnett said the grant funding that pays half of the operating costs for the service will run out around the end of August. Lextran has considered getting a third-party contractor to provide the service "with the possibility of a small fare increase" or using a van pool.

The Southland BCTC route runs every 35 minutes during its busiest times, Barnett said, but Lextran could eliminate one bus by operating every 70 minutes. Lextran also is considering eliminating the last 2½ trips of the day on the Centre Parkway Connector route. Barnett said those trips average 1.4 passengers each.

Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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