By KEELEY MOREE
• Leader & Times
After months of careful consideration, the City of Liberal has released a finalized copy of the bus route map with more than 30 stops throughout town.
Transit Supervisor Jeff Young said the current plan hits as many stops at residential complexes and major shopping areas as possible under an hour timeframe.
The buses are scheduled to depart from City Hall at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday and run their final route from 5 to 6 p.m.
Walmart, Dillons and The Best Market are among the grocery stores included on the map. Several more stops are included for senior living centers and schools.
Liberal’s largest employer, National Beef, is also included on the map with both the east and west routes making a stop at the plant. Vice President and General Manager Pat Pridie said the stops will go a great way in assisting some of the company’s 3,000 employees.
“That will work quite nicely for us, they’ll have a chance to take a ride out here and save money on fuel,” Pridie said. “It’s a plus for our employees, and it’s probably one of the better things that I’ve seen Liberal provide for our employees.”
For a rider who would like to ride from Westkan Apartments to Walmart, a trip which may have taken more than an hour on foot one-way, can now be made in just a little more than half an hour on the bus.
Five transfer stops at City Hall, The Best Market, Dillons, Southwest Medical Center and Walmart allow a rider from one side of the map to access locations on the other side of town by requesting a free transfer card.
Young explained that if a route is running ahead of schedule, drivers will stop and wait at a stop until it is time to leave for the next scheduled stop. If no one is at the bus stop and passengers do not need to stop at that location, drivers will continue on to the next stop.
Bus fares are currently priced at $1 per one-way trip, which must be paid in the exact amount in cash.
Passengers who expect to ride on a regular basis are able to purchase an unlimited monthly pass for $30 per person.
Applications for half-fare cards are also available at City Hall for senior citizens, low-income riders, students or riders with disabilities.
Riders with disabilities are also eligible for a para-transit service in which handicap accessible vans can pick up and drive riders to the nearest bus stop given 24 hours advanced notice.
Unlimited monthly passes for para-transit services will cost $40.
Liberal’s citizens will likely see bus stop signs being posted around town within the next two weeks, and Young expects the buses to start running within the next month.
More information about Liberal’s bus routes can be found at www.cityofliberal.org/citybus or by calling transit services at 626-0100.
RULES OF THE ROAD
• Children 10 and younger must be accompanied by someone 16 or older.
• Children 5 and younger ride free of charge.
• Children ages 11 through 16 must provide a photo I.D. if not accompanied by an adult.
• Passengers are responsible for personal belongings. Drivers are not permitted to assist passengers with loading or unloading packages.
• Only packages that will fit under the seat and out of the aisle are allowed. Transport only what can be carried on or off the bus in one trip.
• Walking aids and strollers must be collapsed and out of the aisle.
• Only trained service animals are allowed.
• Open containers, weapons, ammunition or hazardous materials are not allowed on the bus.
• Inappropriate conduct is not allowed on the bus. Complete guidelines are available upon request.
• Do not smoke, eat or drink on the bus.