Conversations Spark About Increasing Public Transportation In Superior

SUPERIOR,Wis. – Getting to work or running simple errands can be an easy task for most people who drive a car.

But those in Superior who rely on public transportation can sometimes be at a disadvantage because the lack of current options, which can create barriers.

Now a group of city officials and local leaders is starting a conversation about potentially increasing public transportation in Superior.

Currently, the Duluth Transit Authority runs two bus routes that serve Superior and its surrounding areas.

But quite a few folks in Superior believe the current public transportation schedule is not helping the community as much as it could.

One route travels between Duluth and Itasca. The other services Billings park and South Superior.

A big issue troubling riders is the lack of frequency.

Both routes run every half hour only during morning peak hours.

Dropping to hourly during the midday.
“If I had a magic wand i would like to see increased frequency and more similar to Duluth. I would like to see routes go until midnight,” said Amanda Foster.

The DTA General Manager says they are willing to work with the city of Superior to make any improvement, but it is not up to them to make it happen.

“There’s always the option to looking to improve the system or changing the system. If you are going to improveit by provides more service it will require more funding. the funding has to be approved by the entity that wants to provide it to the community,” said Phil Pumphrey.

Superior City Councilor Jenny Van Sickle, who is a bus rider, agrees that it is time for more officials to get on board to be make public transportation better for residents.

“We need more elected officials that ride the bus,” said Van Sickle. “We did not have any medium or arena that had all stake holders at the table by people that actually ride the bus to discuss the solutions, the gaps, the opportunities and the possibilities.”

Van sickle says geography is also a major barrier.

Opportunities for residents in Itasca or south superior are much more limited due to the lack of transportation options available.

According to the DTA to run one more frequent bus service could cost about $100 an hour.

That means running a 12 hour daily service for about one year would cost $300,000.

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