The new routes for The Bus, the fixed-route bus transportation system for Casper, are expected to go into effect in April after the City Council last week approved the changes for the service for residents from the east side to Paradise Valley.

"The idea is to drive fewer miles so you don't spend as much money," Casper Area Transportation Coalition director Marge Cole said Monday.

The nonprofit Casper Area Transportation Coalition was formed in 1982 and provides a demand-response bus system called CATC -- the buses are cream-colored -- for the elderly, disabled, blind, deaf and others who do not have access to other transportation.

In 2005, the city created the fixed-route system called The Bus -- the white buses with the blue, red, green and yellow stripes. Its six routes serve Casper, Evansville and Mills.

Last year, the Casper City Council considered, then backed away from, severely cutting funding for The Bus, which also receives federal and other funding. But the Council wanted CATC to look at efficiencies in its routes.

CATC, the Metropolitan Planning Organization, their staffs, and users received community comments and conducted surveys since last summer.

Two weeks ago, MPO Supervisor Aaron Kloke outlined the changes to the Council during a work session. The final route changes can be found on the agenda for that work session.

The green, yellow, red and blue routes in Casper will see the changes. The purple route for Mills and the orange route for Evansville are not affected.

Some bus stops were removed or services were canceled, mostly because of a lack of use, Cole said.

For example, The Bus on the green route on Saturday had stops at the Central Wyoming Counseling Center and Department of Workforce Services on Wilkins Circle, and at the Boys and Girls Club on East K Street.

But those organizations are closed on Saturday, so there was no need for bus service, Cole said. "So why run those miles and spend that money."

The revisions to the routes will take a couple of months to complete, she said.

CATC will be informing the public about the changes, starting with placing signs at the bus stops that will be removed on a certain date, Cole said.

The changes, however, come when more people need public transportation, she said.

"The demand for the service on The Bus continues to increase," Cole said.

The demand for the door-to-door CATC service is even higher, and the Coalition currently cannot meet that, she added. "There's a lot more people with disabilities; a lot more people with wheelchairs."

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