BBC Public Transit celebrates receiving first bus grant 40 years - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

BBC Public Transit celebrates receiving first bus grant 40 years ago

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On January 15, 1974, the Senior Handy Bus service in Alliance received a grant from the county to purchase its first bus.

40 years later, members of what's now called Box Butte County Public Transit are reflecting on the growth of the bus service and how it continues helping residents.

In 1974, the transit service started off with only one volunteer driver who made about six transports daily throughout Alliance and Hemingford.

Today there are six vehicles, five of which have wheelchair lifts. There are 10 paid employees, eight in Alliance and two in Hemingford who work to make nearly 200 transports a day.

Box Butte County Public Transit Director Jonnie Kusek says she is proud to have such a service growing and serving residents of all ages in the county.

"I think in addition of fulfilling the needs of individuals such as getting them to very important medical appointments, places of employment, different things like that, I really think it plays a major factor in our economic development for Box Butte County."

Dixie Nelson, Director of the Alliance Chamber of Commerce agrees about the economic side of the transit service.

"Jonnie's been really conscientious about it, soliciting those grants and working with the state and I'm sure it's going to grow and it needs to grow. Without a taxi service in a lot of these small towns we really need that for western Nebraska in general."

Transits currently run between Alliance and Hemingford but the Nebraska Department of Roads says possible trips to Scottsbluff and Chadron could be made in the near future under the state mobility management plan.

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