Chadron City Transit Holding 1st Anniversary Open House


     Chadron City Transit is celebrating the 1-year anniversary of moving into offices at The Marketplace in the 100 block of West 2nd Street today.

The celebration includes a free hamburger lunch from 11:00-1:00 

     Moving the offices was one of the smaller changes implemented last year after Julie Lawrence was hired as Chadron’s first stand-alone Public Transportation Supervisor.

      Bigger changes included changing the name of the service from The Handi-Bus to Chadron City Transit. 

     Lawrence says the idea was to make it clear the bus was available to everyone as a way to get around town. It worked – ridership since the change has shattered all previous records 

      Lawrence returned to charging a nominal fare, a practice dropped during the pandemic, while adding reduced-price passes and an online reservation system that can be accessed with a smart phone and QR code.

      She also convinced the city council to approve bus service outside the city limits, resulting in frequent riders to the airport, occasional trips to Rapid City, and a popular once a month day trip to the Prairie Wind Casino east of Oelrichs. 

      Not all of her ideas have panned out. A regular route system to complement the on-call system was dropped after a trial period drew only a few riders while no one used the bus to go to the Chadron State Park anniversary or Crawford 4th of July parade. 

    Lawrence looks at those as successful failures because she learned more about what customers want or are willing to use, information that might lead to revised versions being tried in the future.

      The same goes for extended morning and late afternoon hours for medical appointments or commuting to work or school that had limited ridership last winter and spring.

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