Dial-A-Ride looking at local routes

Published 10:04 pm Thursday, August 23, 2007

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES – Those who count on Dial-A-Ride as transportation may be looking at some changes in the near future that are necessary to keep the service going.
"Dial-A-Ride was in the red last year and they will be again next year and they can't continue to operate in the red," Niles City Administrator Terry Eull said Wednesday.
They want to look at ways to cut costs before they have to raise rates for transportation, which is why they are making a proposal to the city council that would make Dial-A-Ride more of a route-based system, rather than a taxi system, he added.
The current cost for riders is $1 for adults in town and $3 for riders outside the city limits. They would like to keep those rates, which is why the routes would help. He also said raising the fares wouldn't raise enough revenue to keep the service going.
Eull explained that the routes would follow a north-south path and an east-west path, allowing them to stop at different locations around town.
He also explained the drivers will still pick up special needs riders at their homes, but all other riders would go to a Dial-A-Ride stop. Some people may like the scheduled pick-up and drop-off times, rather than having to call and wait to be picked up or dropped off.
"Bottom line is, we can't be in the red anymore and we need to fix it," Eull added.
The issue will be discussed at Monday night's city council meeting, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Niles Fire Station.