Public Forum Set on Proposed Gem City Grand Bus Route Changes
A public forum regarding proposed service changes to the Gem City Grand bus route that serves Laramie and the University of Wyoming will be held Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Albany County Public Library Wyoming Room.
The changes in service hours are the result of a $30,000 shortfall in matching funds for the new fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2014. The Albany County Transportation Authority (ACTA) Board proposes that Sunday service cease and that Saturday hours change from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. to 1-6 p.m. The proposed changes would affect both Gem City Grand and the Paratransit service for individuals with disabilities, and would take effect Nov. 1.
“The ACTA Board considered a variety of options as it looked for ways to continue the service while reducing the necessary expenses,” says Carolyn Smith, ACTA chair and UW director of Auxiliary Services. She says the ACTA Board chose this option because Saturdays and Sundays are historically used 30 percent less than weekdays, and Sunday is the least-used day. Overall, the Gem City Grand Route has seen a 33 percent increase in ridership this year and will continue to offer the Paratransit service on its days of operation.
ACTA is committed to provide the best level of service possible within its available budget. This proposed service reduction will be reconsidered as next year’s budget is developed, with the goal of restoring any needed service as funding allows.
With the proposed changes, the Gem City Grand bus will continue to operate Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. and on all major holidays except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. On Nov. 1, a new stop at the Laramie Senior Housing at 404 S. 30th St. will be added, and the bus stop at the East Express Lot will move to the intersection of Sundance and Lodgepole Lane, Smith says.
The service is currently free to riders. For more information about the bus route, visit www.actabus.org or call (307) 766-8888 between 8 a.m-5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
The Gem City Grand bus route serves Laramie and the University of Wyoming. (UW Photo)