The Flint Hills Area Transportation Agency (ATA Bus) will begin operating its fixed-route transit system Monday.
ATA Bus spent the better part of two years developing an operating plan for fixed route transit in Manhattan before it was rejected by city commissioners on a 3-2 vote last June. Funding and the long-term success of such a system were sticking points for a majority of commissioners. However, ATA Bus was able to implement the routes without funding from the city through a reduced budget and private donation drive.
The agency will run two bus routes, one running from the northwestern portion of town to the southwest and one running from the southwestern portion of town to the northeast.
The first week of service will be free of all fares. After that, fares will be around $1. The routes will run in addition to the agency’s current on-demand service and SafeRide. According to the operating plan, the routes would run on weekdays during different cycles, one cycle while Kansas State is in session and one when it isn’t.
There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Bosco Student Plaza. Hot dogs, chips and drinks will be provided until 2 p.m.