Flipping burgers for buses in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Flipping burgers for buses in Dubuque

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) - As bus rider ship in Iowa has risen with gas prices -- funding for the fleet has not.  One transit group in Dubuque hopes to flip that trend to help both riders and the environment.      

Mark Munson, director of Dubuque's regional transit authority, has been a part of public transit for 15 years.  He's seen the industry grow and change.  But this year he's "flipped" about funding for bus replacement.  "We have approximately 30 vehicles in the three counties. Two-thirds of that fleet is operating beyond its useful life. Which is representative of the statewide fleet," said Munson.  

He says the buses *are safe, but they are not efficient enough to provide a high quality of service.  Munson hopes to flip that issue by flipping burgers. 

The regional transit authority will host "burgers for buses" this Thursday at the Asbury Eagles Club -- to raise money -- and awareness -- for new buses.  "Our goal is to upgrade our fleet to have more fuel efficient, lower maintenance vehicles so we can be able to use our money, instead of repair vehicles, putting more service on the street," said Munson.

Munson says many people don't realize the impact of bus service.  You may have seen RTA buses around the city of Dubuque, but the unique thing about their company is that they serve the rural areas too, which means they're helping Delaware, Jackson and Dubuque Counties.  "Everyday we provide transportation for very essential services such as transportation to dialysis, transportation to cancer treatment, transportation to the University of Iowa hospitals as well as employment transportation," said Munson.

It's transportation that needs an upgrade, or possibly a flip. Depending on how you look at it.  "The quality of life that we're able to facilitate by keeping people independent, is really felt in all three counties," said Munson.

If you want to help RTA, you can stop by the Asbury Eagles Club from 4:30 to 8:00 Thursday night.  The cost is six dollars for adults, three for children.  Proceeds go towards the local match requirement for the purchase of a new RTA bus in Dubuque County.

Online reporter: Lauren Squires

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