The new fixed route bus service from Belleville to Salina, 81 Connection, will start running on Tuesday, September 5th.
For the first 90 days of operation, complimentary fares will be offered for all riders.
The 81 Connection bus service will have three bi-directional trips each day, Monday through Friday. The first route will start in Belleville at 6:45 a.m., then head south on Highway 81 to three stops in Concordia, a stop at the Highway 24/Highway 81 junction, a stop in Minneapolis and stop at 7th and Walnut and Walmart in Salina and then head back to north to the same stops. This route will do this loop twice and finish in Belleville around 5:40 p.m. each day.
A second route will leave Salina at 1:00 p.m. and head north on Highway 81 to the same stop in Minneapolis, the stop at the Highway 24/Highway 81 junction, three stops in Concordia and the stop in Belleville, before heading back to Salina with the same stops. The bus will finish in Salina around 6:00 p.m. each day.
Poles and signs have been installed at the stop locations.
The 81 Connection will be operated and managed by OCCK Transportation. Initial funding for the project came from the Earl Bane Foundation, who provide the 30% local match, as well as the Kansas Department of Transportation, who provided the remaining 70%.
“We are ready to get this route started for north central Kansas,” said Michelle Griffin, Mobility Manager for the region. “We have been working really hard the last few months to get all of the necessary pieces in place to provide this service. We hope people are as excited about the opportunity as we are. We are looking forward to working with these communities to enhance transportation options.”
For more information about the 81 Connection and Kansas Rides, visit www.ksrides.org. For more information about OCCK, Inc., visit www.occk.com. For more information about CityGo and OCCK Transportation, visit www.salinacitygo.com. Or, contact Michelle Griffin, Mobility Manager ([email protected]), or the OCCK Transportation Center at 785-826-1583.