Pella Chronicle

Local News

January 15, 2014

City, HIRTA agreement moves forward

(Continued)

Proposed Transportation Enhancements

The intent of the transition to HIRTA would be to enhance transportation services in our community. Likewise, City staff believes it is wise to focus initially on transitioning services to HIRTA and making sure this functions smoothly before undertaking significant transportation enhancements. Under this plan, an annual review of the transportation services would be performed in December of each year, with the first evaluation occurring in December of 2014. Prior to the evaluation, HIRTA would perform due diligence on potential transportation enhancements in the community and the necessary subsidy for the services. The Council would then be able to consider the proposal by HIRTA during its annual budget preparations. Potential transportation enhancements that could be considered in the future include the following:

-Providing a free shuttle for 60+ year old residents from various assisted living facilities and/or apartment complexes in Pella to the Senior Nutrition Program at the Community Center for participation in activities and lunch program.

-In town shuttle with regular stops around Pella — Hospital, Wal-Mart, Hy-Vee, Fareway, Central Business District.

-Providing transportation from rural areas and other communities into Pella for shopping days.

-Providing transportation to Pella from rural areas or other communities during Tulip Time.

-Providing shuttle services during City Events like 4th of July.

-Providing transportation to the new Pella Sports Complex.

Existing Staff

HIRTA is also willing to offer employment to the City’s current van drivers provided they participate in their application process and pass the required training and testing. In addition, if Council approves a partnership with HIRTA, City staff plans to evaluate administrative staffing since we will no longer be performing dispatching services for the City’s van service.

Currently HIRTA operating hours are Monday-Friday 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.. Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. The general public pays $2/trip and Seniors (60+) can ride for $1/trip. HIRTA provides door-to-door service including assistance for those riders who cannot enter or exit the vehicle on their own accord. Offers transportation to other communities including Knoxville and Des Moines.

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