Learn about proposed new Sartell on-demand ride service at open houses

Sartell residents might be ringing in the New Year with a new ride service.

Metro Bus is proposing replacing Route 32 with a new type of on-demand, shared-ride service within Sartell that picks up people closer to their homes and drops off closer to their destinations. It is also proposing extending Route 31 beyond Walmart to serve the clinics and businesses on Connecticut Ave. and CentraCare Health Plaza.

“We want to pilot the service changes for six months to see if they will be as good as we think,” said Doug Diedrichsen, Planning Manager for St. Cloud Metro Bus. “Everyone we’ve talked to so far has been excited about the potential of this new service model.”

Metro Bus has scheduled an open house to educate the public about the proposed service trials. The first meeting is scheduled 3-5 pm Saturday, October 6 at the Sartell Community Center, 850 19th St. S., Sartell. The second open house is immediately following the Monday, October 8 Sartell City Council meeting at Sartell City Hall, 125 Pine Cone Rd. N., Sartell. Metro Bus will also present the plan during the 6 pm city council meeting. If approved by the Metro Bus Board of Commissioners in October, the pilot program will start January 2.

The open houses will detail the proposed service trials, display the service area map, answer questions and collect feedback from the public. Accommodations will be made to enable people with special needs to participate in the open houses. Please contact Metro Bus early at 320.257.4580 or info@stcloudmtc.com to make arrangements.

Metro Bus designed the new on-demand shared ride service, which it calls ConneX, to increase transportation coverage in Sartell. Because of the low connectivity of the developments, Sartell is a difficult area to adequately serve using traditional fixed routes.

Individuals currently using Dial-a-Ride in Sartell may benefit using ConneX. If they qualify for Dial-a-Ride only because they are physically unable to walk to the nearest bus stop but could walk to the nearest curb, they could save money. If the trial is approved, ConneX, which provides curb-to-curb service, will cost the same as a Fixed Route fare, $1.25. Dial-a-Ride, which provides door-through-door, driver-assisted service to qualified individuals with disabilities costs $2.50 per ride.

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