I would like to put my two cents worth into the recent discussion about Seymour city transportation in The Tribune by our mayoral candidates.
Due to the deterioration of my eyesight, I no longer am able to drive myself, so I utilize our city bus service. I find it very convenient. The drivers are all very congenial and helpful; and so are the dispatchers at city hall. I marvel at how precise I am picked up nearly always on time.
The city recently tried a computerized dispatching service, but had to drop it and go back to the manual system. I can see the advantages of a computerized system, and perhaps they will later get the bugs worked out.
I would like to see the service extended to areas near our city limits. I was on the bus one time when it went out on US 31 south to Todd’s Place on the west side of U.S. 31 (in city limits). The bus picked up a person in a wheel chair who had been wheeled across U.S. 31 from the east side (not in the city limits) by a care giver. I would also like to see a study made for the feasibility of extending service into the evening hours and at least part of Saturdays.
All these extensions of current services would be hard to cover with drivers and dispatchers. One pet peeve of mine is that the bus service follows the city’s work days.
There are many National Holidays followed by the City of Seymour that fall on a Monday. Most factories and retail stores do not recognize those Monday holidays and we have no bus service, yet many bus riders are needing to go to work on those Mondays.
The service is costly to the city. I doubt if the city even comes close to breaking even with the service. The buses are specially equipped to accommodate the handicapped. The driver and dispatchers must be paid whether there are customers or not. I observe many non English speaking riders as well as many people with disabilities.
I believe more people would ride our buses if they knew about the service and costs. Currently, the buses run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. within the city limits of Seymour Monday through Thursday and from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. The cost for each rider to each destination is $2 per person.
You can buy 10 tokens for $16 and that reduces your per ride cost to $1.60. Or for a more frequent rider, you can buy a pass for a month for $25 and ride as often as you need.
You can only purchase the tokens and pass at the dispatcher office at city hall. One situation I often see that personally I would like something done about and that is a young mother or older grandmother with a small child and they have to pay the full price for each small child. I once saw a young mother living at a motel with children and her only means of transportation was by our city bus. She was paying $2 for herself and also for each child to leave the motel and again to get back to the motel.
Phil Cordes, Seymour