DUBUQUE – Public transportation use is on the rise in Dubuque. Due to certain conditions, it is thought that the Jule Bus Service will become more popular in the future.
During the past fiscal year, the Jule has given rides to over half a million people, numbers which have not been reached since 1989. As winter is coming on, more people are looking for a way to travel without having to worry about snow, slush, and other poor road conditions.
The previously mentioned statistics have excited Jule staff members, who credit the results to increased advertising, a greater green consciousness, and most importantly, more efficient routes.
According to Ms. Candace Eudaley-Loebach, the Transit Manager for the city of Dubuque, the efficiency of the routes has made a difference. She stated, “…so we actually cover a lot more area and we go places a lot faster. Um, trip times used to be, prior to 2014, trip times were sometimes 90 minutes, so after 2014, most of our trips were under half an hour….”
Although daytime rides are up, and will continue for a long time, the Nightrider service of the Jule remains in question. Based upon the conditions of the grant which allowed Dubuque to provide the service, the grant is going to expire this next year.
Because of this, local colleges will need to pay their share of the bus service, since the Nightrider goes to a lot of colleges. Students at places like Loras College, then, may be asked to pay fines when they ride the bus in order to cover expenses.
The debate is not settled, but the staff of Loras College suspects that this is what is going to happen.