Limited, more focused transit service proposed by North Liberty city committee

Limited, more focused transit service proposed by North Liberty city committee
KCJJ Staff

Officials in North Liberty are proposing taking on public transit again, though with a narrower focus.

The North Liberty Transit Committee has been discussing possible answers to the calls for some form of transit service in the city despite a bus service failing last year. That committee has created a request for proposal on a demand-response cab service aimed at seniors and low-income residents.

According to minutes from the most recent committee meeting last month and the RFP, the service would only be for those age 62 and over, or those with disabilities or “low-income individuals,” defined as those who participate in a federal or state assistance program.

The service would then be an on-call service and would take residents to one of several designated drop-off locations, such as grocery stores, financial institutions, or medical facilities in North Liberty, Tiffin, Coralville, or Iowa City. It would also connect to other transit options, taking residents to a Coralville transit stop at the Coral Ridge Mall.

It will not be available for regular commuting to work or school or as a taxi service to get to commercial destinations.

Eligible residents would be required to get a special, city-issued ID card, which would be used for identification and payment. Cost estimate for the program are not included in city documents.

Once a vendor is selected and the service begun, a review will take place ninety days later.

The city council is scheduled to discuss the idea at its meeting on Tuesday.

The city tried a regular bus route through town starting in October 2016 but ended it less than a year later after use dropped significantly after the first month, ending with an average of 25 rides per month. At the time, officials said that service was mainly used by older or low-income residents trying to get to appointments or basic facilities.