Local News

Rider dump the pump

National campaign encourages public transit use

Date: 6/18/2010

Posted by Finney County Transit on 6/24/2010




With a stroller tucked under one arm and her 5-month-old baby, Apolinar, in the other, Maria Moncada scrambled up the steps of a City Link bus Thursday afternoon on Farmland Road. 

She sat across the aisle from the driver, and wiped her brow.

“Que calor,” she said. “How hot.

Moncada reached into her pocket for money and tried to pay the driver.He waved her hand away.

“Today, it’s free,” he said.

Riders in Garden City enjoyed the free day of using City Link Thursday as a part of “Dump the Pump,” a national campaign to encourage the use of public transportation.

For Moncada and her sister-in-law, Aracely Salazar, 18, it saved them a few dollars.

Salazar, who used the bus to attend GED classes at Garden City Community College, said she appreciated the free day of riding.

“I had my money ready, but when I got to the bus I couldn’t find it. I’m glad it’s free,” she said.

Salazar uses the bus regularly from Monday through Thursday.

“Sometimes I use it three times in one day,” she said.

Moncada said she uses the bus to get to Walmart, the grocery store, or the Finney County Public Library.

Thursday, she and Salazar were headed to the library.City Manager Matt Allen took his first ride on the City Link buses Thursday morning to get to work. He said he rode his bike to the nearest bust stop and then was able to load the bike onto the bike rack in front of the bus.

“The bike rack is awesome. It’s basically two motions. You just set your bike in and pull a lever over the tire. It’s pretty slick,” he said.

Tony Martinez, City Link driver who handled the Blue Northwest City/Finney County route, said he had seen an increase in passengers Thursday during the middle shift, which is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bonnie Burgardt, director of Finney County Transit, or FIT, said this is the second year City Link has participated in 2008, last year she didn’t give enough of a notice in order to participate in “Dump the Pump” day.

Burgardt said Thursday she saw an increase in traffic in the transfer center. She said for May, the average ridership was 220 passengers per day.

“Just from what I’ve seen come through and transfer her at the transfer center, I think it’s more than that,” she said.

Burgardt said she had received positive feedback from riders.

“We’ve noticed a lot of people riding who had never ridden before. It gives them the opportunity to learn the system. It’s about helping them learn how to do the transfers and get from point A to point B,” she said.