Cedar Falls bus route in jeopardy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls bus route in jeopardy

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Bus Route 9 in Cedar Falls was formed in 2004 by a grant from the federal government, with the goal of helping people get to work.

"It covers a wide area of Cedar Falls and it's been a popular route for the folks there," said Mark Little, General Manager of the Waterloo - Cedar Falls Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Last year, Route 9 had 30,000 passengers, but in 2012, the federal funding was cut.

"Currently we are operating that route on leftover funds," Little said.

The route connects much of Cedar Falls -- Main Street, the University of Northern Iowa campus, and other businesses. It costs $160,000 a year to run. The city used to pay half, and now they have to decide if they'll step up and pay the rest. Otherwise, the city council might cut the hours, or eliminate the route entirely.

"If they cut the service, it'd be a disaster," Gerald Himes said.

Himes was riding the Route 9 bus on Wednesday afternoon to get groceries. Without the route, he said he'd be out of luck.

"A lot of people work out here," he said. "They'll lose their jobs and everything if this bus is cut."

"There's such a need for public transportation out there in that area," Little said. "But I understand it's a difficult decision that the city council is facing, because it is taxpayer money."

But at the public meeting Tuesday night to discuss the changes, no council members were present -- and that's got people like Himes worried that they'll get left behind.

The council will discuss the route's future in a work session on Monday.

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