Dubuque public transit making changes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque public transit making changes

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- In a move toward sustainability, the city's Keyline Public Transit is now running smaller buses on three of four Saturday routes.

Jeff Welp has been a part-time bus driver with Keyline for about three and a half years. He said the move from big buses to minibuses on Saturdays has its benefits.

"A big bus gets about three to five miles a gallon. I'm guessing a minibus gets about 5 to 7 miles a gallon."

The city says it plans on saving $14,000 per year in fuel costs.

"By running smaller buses instead of our big buses... we use less fuel and therefore reduce the carbon footprint," Keyline Public Transit director of transit operations Barbara Morck said.

The city has more plans in the works, and Welp said it's about time.

"For one thing," he said, "we need better buses. [The big ones] are like 34- to 36-year-old"

Morck agrees. She said of the city's 14 large buses, only 12 are functional.

"We've applied for several grants that, hopefully, we'll hear back about in the next couple months as to whether or not we'll be able to replace our aging bus fleet," Morck said.

Dubuque had a study conducted this past year that analyzed the public transit system.

"Over the course of this next year, we'll be looking at the system as a whole," Morck said, "seeing if we can increase services and fine-tune the routes so they, one, make better sense to the people who are utilizing it...and become a little bit more user-friendly."

Proposed changes include adding a bus circuit that would stop only at Dubuque's medical facilities, colleges and universities, and a separate route that would stop only at shopping locations.

Morck said she'd like to see changes in the next year, but it might take up to two years.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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