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Ordinance to give Duenweg residents better access to public tran - KOAM TV 7

Ordinance to give Duenweg residents better access to public transportation

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The Joplin City Council discusses a new transportation ordinance that would give Duenweg residents better access to public transportation.
In a unanimous vote, the council approved the first reading of the ordinance, which will extend the Metro Area Public Transit System, known as MAPS, to include the city of Duenweg.
MAPS is a by appointment bus service that currently serves more than 140,000 people each year.
"Without MAPS, it would be harder for us to find employees to come to work," said Kim Newby, Assistant Executive Director of Joplin Workshops Incorporated.
Newby estimates that nearly 60 of their employees utilize the service.
"Everybody realizes that transportation is vital when they don't have it," she said.  "Most of our employees can't drive and depend on the MAPS system so that they can get to work on time."
And it is not just transportation to work that is needed.
"A lot of doctor appointments, things that people need to get to are in the Joplin area and some residents who are not specifically in the Joplin community need help getting to those places," said Sam Anselm, Interim City Manager for the City of Joplin.
"It will help people who are working here, going to school here, I think it's just going to be a good partnership all the way around," said Melodee Colbert-Kean, Mayor for the City of Joplin.
The current routes include Joplin, Duquesne, Webb City, Carterville and Carl Junction.
The fee agreement for Duenweg is $1.50 per rider this year, followed by a 50 cent increase per rider each year through 2017, which will help cover all operation costs.
City leaders say the addition of Duenweg will not affect current routes, unless the demand increases dramatically.
"If demand gets such that we need to add additional transportation routes, vehicles or drivers, that's certainly something we can look at," Anselm said.
Final action on the ordinance is scheduled for the council's March 3rd meeting.
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