Mayor Chris Beutler today announced that StarTran served more than two million patrons in the 2011-2012 fiscal year ending August 31. It was the first time StarTran hit the two-million mark since 1990. The two millionth rider was Jodi Newman, and she received a prize package from Mayor Beutler and StarTran Advisory Board Chair Kim Phelps at a celebration this morning.
"Two million riders would fill Memorial Stadium 25 times," Beutler said. "By taking the bus instead of a car, the savings they generated in dollars and fuel is significant. Taking public transit instead of driving also prevents pollution from entering the atmosphere. Reaching two million riders is a great accomplishment for StarTran and for our community. I want to thank the StarTran employees for their great work and the patrons who chose to 'get on board.'"
To thank patrons for a successful year, Mayor Beutler announced a five-day sale on 20-ride passes. From September 10 through 14, regular and senior (age 62 and up) 20-ride passes will be $8 (regularly $33). The 20-ride passes for those eligible for Handi-Van Service will be $16 (regularly $66). The passes will be available during regular business hours at the StarTran offices, 710 "J" Street. They also will be sold from noon to 2 p.m. at these locations:
Beutler also reminded the public that new fares go into effect October 1 for the 31-consecutive day passes. The price for regular 31-consecutive day passes will drop from $45 to $17, and the price for 31-consecutive day Handi-Van passes will drop from $90 to $34. Prices for the low-income 31 consecutive day passes remain the same.
"I am pleased we were able to include these new lower fares in the City's first biennial budget so residents can now save even more by riding StarTran," Beutler said. "A new contract with UNL also was approved as part of the budget. We hope that increased student service as well as the lower fares for the 31-consecutive day passes will help us to increase ridership 6 percent this fiscal year." As part of the contract with UNL, StarTran will increase service on the #24 Holdrege route from four to eight buses starting in January 2013.
More information on StarTran, including Bike and Bus and the Big Red Express, is available by calling 402-476-1234 or visiting startran.lincoln.ne.gov.