Goodnight said he’s not concerned about budgeting factors forcing the system to begin charging.
“I’m not going to charge people to ride, the same way I’m not going to charge kids to use the swingsets in the parks,” he said. “This is a priority for us.”
Abbie Smith, president of the United Way of Howard County, praised her predecessors at the local chapter for “sticking with it and getting the job done,” when it came to advocating for public transportation.
“You’d be hard pressed to find a better return on your investment than public transportation,” Smith said. “This is not a recreational system; this is something people need to go to doctor’s offices, to go to school, and to go to jobs.”
Corn said city officials didn’t announce last week’s startup of the new routes, but said riders learned about the changes quickly.
She said in the past few days, ridership has increased from around 1,100 riders a day to around 1,300, and said that number is expected to go up as people become familiar with the new routes.
More info Kokomo's free bus service has expanded from 118 stops to 275 stops. Here is the new route map: http://bit.ly/13GbxIJ More questions? Call the city at 765-456-7556.