CyRide Implements a Hybrid Taxi Bus Service

AMES, Iowa  --  The population of Ames decreases each summer and CyRide says it’s the perfect time to try to increase ridership among people in the community. Normally CyRide is accounting for many more passengers.

“CyRide was designed to carry about four million passengers a year, however right now we are carrying about 6.7 million passengers,” Assistant Transit Director Barb Neal said.

Now that students are packing up and leaving campus for the summer, CyRide is making some changes to the transit system. Starting May 5th, they made changes to routes on the #5 Yellow and the #9 Plum bus routes.

An even bigger change comes with the elimination of the # 4 Grey and the #10 Pink bus routes. They have been replaced by a new EASE service.

“It’s a door to door, curb to curb service where people will get on at City Hall and they can ride within this area of East Ames and be dropped off at the curb, so it’s kind of a hybrid between maybe a taxi cab service and what public transit has offered in the past,” Neal said.

They chose to make these changes to encourage ridership in the East Ames area.

“We thought it would be more user friendly if people could call and schedule their rides and get to the exact door or location that they want to go because some of those areas are hard to negotiate especially in the medical areas, some of the manufacturing areas,” Neal said.

CyRide has also lowered its prices to only a dollar, the lowest they have been since 2011.

“Our ridership has continued to increase ever since we implemented fare-free to the students, the students do pay a portion of their fees, but they ride for free every day, and that’s when our ridership really started to take off and so hopefully this will be the next step in the next taking off of our ridership,” Neal said.

This is just phase one of two in CyRide’s transformation. Starting on August 13th CyRide is making changes to all of the existing routes and some of the bus stops, they are also adding four new routes. They encourage riders to look at their website cyride.com if they have any questions.