Cedar City Transit Hitting the Road

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CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) -- The city's first community transportation system is hitting the road.

The Cedar Area Transportation System, funded primarily by a federal grant, begins operating this week, taking residents through the main arteries of Cedar City.

"I can hardly believe it's ready to go," said Kristine Frost, who headed the Cedar City Transportation Committee.

The new system consists of two buses that can carry 10 passengers and two people in wheelchairs and two vans for Dial-A-Ride service. The fee is $1 per trip or a 30-trip pass for $27.

The idea for the system came from members of the Cedar City Disability Action Team who had to rely on friends and family to take them across town for doctor's appointments, to pick up prescriptions or to go shopping.

"We hope everybody will ride it," Frost said. "If they don't, we'll lose it and that would be sad."

Rick Holman, director of administrative services for the city, said the service will run Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting Monday.

"We recognize going into this that the route we've proposed at this point may not meet all the desires of people who want to use the system so we're open to comments about some modifications we can make," Holman said.

Kraig Stephens, confined to a wheelchair because of multiple sclerosis, said the public transportation will make his two trips to the hospital each week much easier.

"I see it as a form of independence for both the able-bodied and the disabled, the elderly and those in need of basic transportation," Stephens said. "It's really helping those who are without transportation get out of bondage."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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