March 12, 2013

Community leaders take bus tour of Oskaloosa

The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — A group of Oskaloosa community leaders and non-profit organization officials took a bus tour of Oskaloosa Monday morning on a proposed bus route around town.

The community leaders met at the United Way building at 500 High Ave. W. to ride a 10-15 Transit bus around town.

The bus route has 16 stops around Oskaloosa, and the Monday bus tour stopped at all of them, Oskaloosa Area Chamber and Development Group Executive Director Jon Sullivan said.

Stops along the route include Penn Central Mall/Hy-Vee, Fareway; Inglenook/Norwich Apartments; Christian Opportunity Center; Agency on Aging; Mahaska Health Partnership; the Mahaska County YMCA; Oskaloosa Middle School; William Penn University; Oskaloosa Christian School; Oskaloosa Elementary School; The Lacey Recreation Complex; Wal-Mart; Edmundson Park; Southern Hills/Highland Park Apartments; Imagine the Possibilities; and the Oskaloosa Public Library.

“Nothing is set in concrete,” said Robin Pfalzgraf of Love INC. “We’re in our first peripheral ride through.”

Pfalzgraf said she helped start the effort to bring bus service to Oskaloosa.

“There’s a great need for people who need rides in town,” she said.

Pfalzgraf said Love INC and other organizations do transports around the city, and they joined together to explore obtaining bus service for Oskaloosa.

Pfalzgraf said this is a private effort to bring bus service to Oskaloosa, she added.

The bus service organizers are partnering with 10-15 Transit of Ottumwa for the service, Pfalzgraf said. There will be one bus operating in Oskaloosa and the rider fee has yet to be determined, she said.

“We hope to have stops on the hour,” Pfalzgraf said.

The bus can handle two to three wheelchairs at a time. It will take a little longer — about five minutes — to load wheelchair passengers, so the bus will take more time at stops such as the Inglenook/Norwich Apartments than places such as the YMCA, she said.

Pfalzgraf said she welcomes citizens’ input on the route and the stops to be made.

Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at oskynews@oskyherald.com