Thanks to a new crosstown express service funded by an Iowa Clear Air Attainment Program (ICAAP) Grant, the ride time of Dubuque’s most common intercity bus trips will be reduced by more than 50 percent. The new service will not only offer public transit users reduced ride times, but expanded coverage areas and extended hours of service.
The Jule, the city of Dubuque’s public transit system, has been awarded a two-year $897,763 ICAAP grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation to develop a crosstown express service to offer faster bus transportation between the downtown and west end transfers. The grant will cover 80 percent of the cost of the service with the remainder funded by the City. This new service is scheduled to begin in early January 2014 and is intended to serve as a catalyst for broader system improvements.
Two new routes will be created. One is a 15-minute non-stop express service between the Sixth & Iowa Street and John F. Kennedy Circle transfer locations. The second has the same origination/destination points but is divided into 15-minute service between the Sixth & Iowa Street and Delhi Street transfers, and 15-minute service between the Delhi Street and John F. Kennedy Circle transfer locations, with stops at popular locations.
Candace Eudaley, director of transit operations for The Jule, said all other routes in the system will change to coordinate with these new routes. “These are exciting changes for our system and our passengers because they will result in shortened ride times, increased coverage, and extended hours,” said Eudaley. “The changes were based on ongoing survey data collection from residents and customers as well as common service requests we receive.”
Eudaley said current trip times for many common routes range from 30 to more than 60 minutes and the new service and route changes are expected to cut most of those trip times by more than half. For example, the ride time from the downtown transfer point at Sixth and Iowa Street to WalMart/Lowe’s is expected to go from 65 minutes to 25 minutes. The trip time from the John F. Kennedy Circle transfer to Kennedy Mall will be reduced from 25 minutes to just five minutes. The trip time from The Point to Medical Associates West campus is expected to be reduced from 95 minutes to 40.
New fixed-route service areas being added include: Terrace Heights, Tanzanite Drive, Peru Road, Freemont Avenue, Wartburg Seminary, Cedar Cross Road, South Grandview Avenue, Rockdale Road, YM-YWCA, and Carnegie-Stout Public Library. On-demand service areas: Dittmer Recycling, Redemption Center, Hobby Lobby, Olive Garden, Mt. Carmel, St. Mary's Apartments.
Existing stops that will receive increased service (every 30 minutes) include: Asbury Plaza, Wal-Mart, Kennedy Mall, Dodge Street Hy-Vee, Target, Shopko, Sunset Park, Kohl's, Asbury Plaza Hy-Vee, Goodwill, Hempstead High School, Medical Associates West, Pennsylvania Avenue, Radford Road, and Dubuque Industrial Center West.