New bus pilot program on hold - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

New bus pilot program on hold

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 by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - While a new bus pilot program that was supposed to launch later this week has been delayed, the Guam Regional Transit Authority is still committed to making improvements to the public transportation system starting with a new home.

Island residents will have to wait a little longer before the Guam Regional Transit Authority launches its new bus pilot program. "We decided to pause that and put it on hold because we wanted to add more to the improvement," explained acting executive manager Rudy Cabana. He says the program was supposed to start on August 1, but in addition to concerns from constituents, the authority has delayed the launch to do more review. While no new date has been set, he says part of the improvements begins with a new bus schedule.

He said, "The new bus schedule we have is to increase the fixed route so that way our paratransit riders can also instead of creating reservations, they have a choice to go through individual disability service or they can also go with the fixed route services."

GRTA currently has five fixed routes but will extend it to eight along with six paratransits. The existing schedule's gap will also change to 130 to 230pm instead of the original 1130pm to 230pm gap. Cabana says the last drop will be extended an hour to 930pm. "Now that we have our extended hours, at least single parents whether female or male, can go to school and also attend GCC and try and get a better education," he said.

Three public hearings were held throughout the island on the upcoming changes. Cabana says most of the constituents did not attend, but those who did provide comment, the authority took their concerns under consideration. "Their comment and concern were the bus fairs and the increase so I've decided to go ahead and still use the existing fairs for now," he said.

Currently, for one ride passes, for students 6 to 18 and seniors 55 years and up, the fare is 35 cents with one dollar for regular fare passes. GRTA meanwhile currently has 11 buses, but cabana says he's working on the invitation for bid with the assistant attorney general to add 14 more. While the pilot program won't launch this week, GRTA's move to the DPW compound will.

 "We're supposed to be moving in starting operating as of yesterday, but there was some hiccups in between that and we're fixing that as well," he said.

GRTA is currently the last tenant at the Manuel F.L. Guerrero Building in Hagatna after DOA and DOE both relocated. You can view the existing and new transit routes, schedules, transit fares and map on http://grta.guam.gov.  
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