The federal government is sending the Iowa Department of Transportation one million dollars for an ongoing program designed to keep passenger bus routes going between Iowa’s small towns. D-O-T program planner Donna Johnson says it’s a multifaceted program. She says it helps preserve existing innercity bus routes that tie smaller communities in Iowa to the nationwide intercity bus system. She says it also helps start up new intercity routes to cities in Iowa that don’t have them, and she says it helps bus systems retrofit vehicles or purchase new vehicles to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. Johnson says a good example is the way the program helped when Greyhound dropped some routes through small cities. She says for various reasons Greyhound abandoned 14 stops last August, and other carriers were able to pick those routes up. Johnson says the federal money helped the companies that picked up the routes. Johnson says maintaining the intercity routes for small Iowa towns is important.She says when you’re in rural Iowa and you want to get to Arizona or Florida or some other part of the country, “it’s important to those people that are transportation disadvantaged, or have a restricted driver’s license, or just don’t want to drive alone.” She says it provides a service they might not otherwise have. Johnson says new routes to pick up services that Greyhound Lines discontinued last August included a portion of Burlington Trailways new services between Cedar Rapids and Indianapolis via Mount Pleasant and Burlington. The Iowa section of a second Burlington Trailways route between Des Moines and Chicago via Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and Dubuque is also included. Jefferson Lines will be funded for the Iowa portion of their new service between Kansas City and Sioux Falls via Clarinda, Shenandoah, Emerson, Council Bluffs, Onawa and Sioux City.
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