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Stillwater circulator-bus begins service next month

Saint Paul Pioneer Press - 9/24/2018

Sept. 24--Stillwater and Oak Park Heights will get one-day-a-week circulator bus service starting Oct. 22 -- targeted to people who cannot drive and people with disabilities, but available to all.

The service, provided by Community Thread and the Dakota County DARTS organization, will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays and cost $3 for an all-day pass. It will make scheduled stops at senior housing complexes, businesses, stores and Community Thread's Stillwater location. The bus seats 16 people and has a lift.

Potential riders can meet the drivers and practice using the bus for free from 10 to 11:30 a.m.Oct. 5 at Rivertown Commons, noon to 1:30 p.m.Oct. 5 at Raymie Johnson Estates, and 12:30 to 2 p.m.Oct. 8 at Community Thread.

Results of a community survey are being used to determine a route, which might change after riders provide feedback, according to Sally Anderson, executive director of Community Thread.

Anderson said a similar service has been successful in West St. Paul and South St. Paul.

The first year of operation will cost $25,000 and will be funded by DARTS and $15,000 in donations from Allina Health-Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, the City of Oak Park Heights, Lakeview Hospital, Rotary Club of Stillwater and United Way Washington County-East. Anderson said community funding will pay for subsequent years if the program is successful.

The service will launch with a ribbon-cutting event at 9 a.m.Oct. 22 at Community Thread, 2300 Orleans St. W., Stillwater. The first bus will depart at 10 a.m. For more information, visit communitythreadmn.org.

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(c)2018 the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)

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