By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
The Municipal Transit Administration is looking for input from the public with a new transit needs survey.
MTA officials announced plans for their first public input survey at a Transit Action Group meeting on Thursday.
“We’ve been hoping to pull together a group like this for awhile,” Mobility Coordinator Michelle Huseman said. “This city needs a survey to gather public input.”
Huseman led the meeting along with Operation Manager John Griffin to provide an open forum for those with questions or concerns about the MTA system and plans for the future.
Transit professionals from the area and several students from Lincoln High School attended the meeting and voiced their opinions.
Many ideas hinged on providing better service to Lincoln High School as well as the north part of Clinton and surrounding areas of Camanche and Fulton. For surrounding communities to receive services from the MTA besides paratransit, city officials would have to show significant interest both verbally and financially, according to Huseman.
“We can’t start something that doesn’t have a basis to start from,” Huseman said. “We need a response from the people.”
Creating a route for Fulton would create extra hurdles, since it crosses a state boundary. Regional boundaries like this, would require MTA to look into inter-state transit programs and grants. Additional topics included route changes, such as the separation of the Ashford University bus service and hours of service. Many of the attendees said they felt that routes should run significantly later at night.
A draft copy of the needs survey was released at the meeting including several questions on the services offered by MTA. Questions include dates and times when riders are likely to use the buses and how the services adequately meet work, school and activity transportation needs. The survey will also prompt the public to mention what other communities they would like to see services too, including Camanche, DeWitt, Fulton and surrounding communities. Survey takers can also denote whether they would like to be involved in further discussions about transit improvements.
Transit Needs Surveys will be available by the end of the month at the MTA office, online and at a variety of agencies and businesses.