SHERIDAN — Proponents of expanded public transportation have moved one step closer to a new, more comprehensive local bus system following a meeting of the Public Transit Initiative of Sheridan County Wednesday.
A loosely organized group of citizens concerned about a lack of transportation options, the group has recently begun discussing possibilities for bus and van service to destinations throughout the city and county.
The Public Transit Initiative was recently awarded a grant of about $45,000 from the Wyoming Department of Transportation to study existing transit infrastructure and what might be done to improve it.
Last winter, LSC Transportation Consultants of Colorado Springs, Colo., was chosen to conduct the study on behalf of the group.
Among the possibilities discussed at Wednesday’s meeting: a fixed bus route along Main Street and Coffeen Avenue, an organized vanpool system and a bus system that allows for deviation from a fixed route depending on the specific needs of riders.
In recent months, the Public Transit Initiative has worked alongside LSC to formalize a set of goals for the project. They include factors such as attracting new passengers while continuing to service existing ones, enhancing the sustainability of the area’s transit system and generally providing service that is at once efficient, safe and reliable.
While the groups have yet to focus on many specific enhancements they would like to see made, LSC Principal A.T. Stoddard has emphasized that any changes should be carefully considered so as not to negatively affect riders of Sheridan’s existing public transportation options such as the Sheridan Mini Bus.
During his visit to Sheridan this week, Stoddard visited with Mini Bus drivers, representatives of Rehabilitation Enterprises of North Eastern Wyoming and a group of interested senior citizens among other groups.
LSC is scheduled to present their recommendations for a Sheridan-specific plan at a meeting in July.