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Tuesday, May 28
The Indiana Daily Student

Residents decry bus route changes

Bloomington Transit staged a public hearing Tuesday about proposed bus route changes slated to take effect in June or July.

The proposal would cut out all Kirkwood Avenue stops from routes 1, 3 and 5 and all Sixth Street stops cut from route 3.

Bloomington resident Mike Satterfield said he was curious whether or not the Monroe County Public Library had been consulted, considering the parking lot congestion it already suffers.

Bloomington Transit General Manager Lew May said the board had not, but made note of the man’s comment and planned on consulting the library.

May said nothing had been set in stone yet and no plans would be decided on that night.

The main point of contention for the handful of people who attended the public hearing was with route 3, which is a one-hour round trip.

Kara Prill, a Bloomington resident and bus rider since 2001, said her main concern was for her mother and the wheelchair access at Gifford and Curry Pike.

Proposed changes to route 3 would cut out a handicap accessibility point at Garden Villa nursing home on the inbound trip.

Prill said the only place her wheelchair-confined mother can board and exit the bus is on the north side of Gifford Road facing Garden Villa.

If the changes go into effect as is, Prill said she and her mother would be forced to exit the bus on the wrong side of Gifford Road or the east side of Curry Pike where there is no sidewalk and there are four lanes of traffic to cross to reach Garden Villa.

Prill proposed two separate routes to serve the area as well as new stops for Ivy Tech and the new YMCA facility.

May said population in that area has increased, causing more traffic and more bus riders, with ridership expected to increase when Interstate 69 goes in.

“Something has to go,” he said.

The proposed cut in the route would save the bus drivers precious minutes since route
3 in general struggles to make it downtown on time.

Bloomington Transit has considered two routes for route 3 in the past, May said. They have even considered a shuttle bus to extend as far down as Heatherwood Lane.

“We want to go to Ivy Tech someday, too,” May said, but state and federal funding is not expanding. “We have a finite budget. We don’t have the money to pay for it.”

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