Archived Story

DART making two changes

Published 8:20pm Monday, July 9, 2012

A new 50-cent fare and an updated Dial-A-Ride no-show policy effective Sept. 3 passed Niles City Council Monday night.

Both changes were requested by the Community Development Department based on RLS and Associates’ transit plan done for Dial-A-Ride Transportation (DART).

The 50-cent fare is for fixed route deviation.

One recommendation from the study was that DART encourage more passengers to use fixed route 2 down South 11th Street and promote a route deviation option, which is a slight detour from regularly scheduled stops.

To take advantage, passengers call the DART office at 623 N. Second St. at (269) 684-5150 at least an hour in advance of the time they need the ride to request that route 2 deviate up to half a mile for a pick-up or drop-offs.

For example, a regular stop occurs at Rite Aid around 11:08 a.m.

A resident living at 12th and Cedar could call the office at 10 to request a pick-up from the route bus on the 11 run and expect to be picked up around 11:08.

DART will limit the number of deviations allowed each hour to maintain its regular route schedule.

This allows riders to take advantage of the predictability and lower fare of the scheduled route, but still receive an additional level of service.

The regular fixed route fare is $2 (or $1 for those eligible for reduced fare), and the additional fare for a deviation request would be 50 cents, or $2.50 (or $1.50) total.

Transportation Coordinator Kelly Getman-Dissette said she has no way of estimating how much income could result from route deviation.

Another study recommendation for system efficiency and sustainability was that DART revise its no-show policy to charge full fare for missed rides rather than the current $1.

A no-show occurs when a passenger scheduled to ride does not make himself or herself available for pick-up when the bus arrives.

Riders who contact the office in advance to cancel their rides do not count as no-shows, which cause buses to run behind schedule.

Demand response rides in the City of Niles cost $3 (or $1.50 for those eligible for reduced fares) or $4 ($2) in Niles Charter Township.

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