MIDAS to resume limited transit services | News, Sports, Jobs

– Messenger photo by Chad Thompson

A Dodger Area Rapid Transit bus is parked along South Sixth Street in downtown Fort Dodge on Tuesday. The DART and the Regional Transit Authority will resume limited transit services on Thursday.

The MIDAS Council of Governments announced on Tuesday that it would resume limited transit services for its two transit systems.

The Dodger Area Rapid Transit (DART) and Regional Transit Authority (RTA) transit system, which serves the six-county area of ​​Pocahontas, Humboldt, Wright, Hamilton, Webster and Calhoun counties, will resume Thursday.

Services were first reduced on March 18 due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. On April 1, all transit service for Fort Dodge and the regional system was temporarily suspended.

Shelly Mahan, public information coordinator, said it has been difficult in recent weeks to secure personal protective equipment.

But she said the necessary PPE is now in place.

“We needed to find the PPE equipment to give everyone some confidence in the safety measures we have taken,” said Mahon.

On Thursday, paratransit services will begin and the Prestage Foods of Iowa work shuttle will resume.

Single-person bus rides will be offered to community members. Paratransit and single person trips will cost $3 each way.

If interested, Mahan said to contact the dispatch office at 515-573-8145 to schedule a ride. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We will start again with simple bus journeys and see how it goes”, said Mahon. “There are so many people who are scared and they are in the high risk category. We want to build their confidence.

Grocery pick-up for seniors 60 and over is also available.

People wishing to have their groceries picked up should first contact Hy-Vee to order and pay for their groceries by phone or online.

Then contact the dispatch office to schedule pickup and delivery. Deliveries will be made on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Shipping must be contacted one day before the day of delivery. Groceries will be home delivered only.

RTA services will resume as follows: Beginning Thursday, MIDAS will operate one demand response bus per county.

If you are interested, please contact the dispatch office to schedule a ride. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Beginning May 26, service between Rockwell City/Manson and Fort Dodge will resume.

Drivers and riders will be required to wear a mask or other face covering. Hand sanitizer stations on every bus are being installed. Seating will be limited to ensure social distancing, Mahan said.

“We are going to find out what our passengers think about it now,” said Mahon. “We have more PPE equipment. We install hand sanitizers. People want to get back to their normal and we now have things in place to try to make that happen.

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Melvin Z. Madore