New schedule for Evansville's west side bus service - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

New schedule for Evansville's west side bus service

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By Gretchen Ross - bio | email | Twitter
Posted by Kelsey Wheatcroft - email

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Changes are on the way for a bus service in western Vanderburgh County. USI officials say the dollars simply aren't there anymore to fund it.

Right now the USI service uses METS bus for the west connection.

The alternative means less hours and days of service for the route or using city busses only.

14 News rode along Tuesday on the west connection and talked to people who use it. And for those who rely on the service, they say the alternatives don't meet their needs.

USI science professor and west side resident Dennis Stone says he relies on the bus service to take him to and from work.

Stone says, "If they cut summer service, I don't get to teach in the summer and I need the money."

Stone isn't the only rider upset about the possible changes.

Sherry Todisco, a USI food court employee says, "I know a lot of people work night time. I know there's a lot of time I don't get off work on time.

Executive Director of Evansville's Transportation Department Ed Ziemer says the west connection is paid for by USI and uses METS busses.

He says two factors play into an upcoming change in schedule.

"One is to reduce cost I'm sure. The other is there is just a very low rider ship at night."

Ziemer says the west connection costs the university $300,000 a year.

He says a recent study shows only one rider an hour on the route at night.

Right now the bus service runs Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. until midnight including the summer.

The new schedule eliminates summer routes and Saturdays. Instead the new schedule will be from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Ziemer says there are alternative routes to take people to USI and Walmart.

"There are two different busses. One is the Mary Tekoppel and the other is the Howell bus. Both of them come through the center where Schnuck's is and that area and services in the area within the city limits."

The Board of Public Works plans on holding a public hearing about the changes next Thursday before making a final decision.

14 News talked with another USI professor who plans on submitting a petition to the board at the public hearing.

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