Bus stop trial run begins at library

MARSHALL – After receiving a letter and petition from a regular transit user asking for a bus stop at the Marshall-Lyon County Library, Marshall Transit recently added a new stop to the red route.

The bus stop will be on the schedule on a trial basis, said Shelly Pflaum, access coordinator for Western Community Action.

“The trial period was tentatively May 24,” she said, “but we may extend that further to get some good, solid data.”

Christine Bean, who petitioned Marshall Transit to consider adding a library stop, said the new bus stop is “awesome. It will make so many residents very happy, myself included.”

Pflaum said Marshall Transit offered two surveys to community members to assess the level of interest in adding a stop to the library at its new location on C Street.

“We surveyed our riders currently using the red route,” she said. “We asked them if they would like to see the stop added and would they use it to get to the library.”

Marshall Transit also made a survey available to library patrons asking if they would like to see a stop added and if so, which route – the red or the blue – would they use.

Pflaum ascertained from the surveys that there was enough support for a trial stop.

Bean said she was not alone in seeing the need for a library stop.

“I’ve heard so many comments about how much more difficult the library has been to get to since it was moved to the new location and especially since a bus didn’t stop there unless a person specifically called to schedule a bus to come pick them up and drop them off and then back again,” she said.

Not only is the new stop more convenient, it’s cheaper, she said.

“During the trial run it costs $1 to get to the library, otherwise it costs $2 for a special trip,” Bean said. “So, now it’s $2 round trip versus the special trip which would cost $4.”

The bus continues to have a nearby stop at the Marshall Area YMCA.

“The YMCA is a block or less away,” said Pflaum.

Pflaum said Marshall Transit is looking into how many people have difficulty getting from the ‘Y’ to the library.

Bean had said she has asthma which was adversely affected by walking to the library in the winter months from the ‘Y.’

There are a lot of factors Marshall Transit must consider before changing a route, Pflaum said. One factor that people may not know about is having to maintain a 10-minute rest period for the driver during every route.

“The driver needs a break, plus if one stop went long for some reason, that is a catch-up period,” Pflaum said.