Dial-A-Ride free rides to college start Monday

MANISTEE — Students living in the Manistee area looking to cut transportation costs in attending West Shore Community College will once again have the opportunity to ride to the college for free on Manistee County Transportation Dial-A-Ride buses.

This free service has been provided for many years by the college, and, according to Manistee County Transportation operations director Denise Peters many area students take advantage of it on a daily basis.

“We will make runs out to the college Monday through Thursday at 7 a.m., 11 a.m. (returns at 12:30 p.m.) and there is a 3:15 p.m. run if someone needs it,” said Peters. “We still get quite a few riders and it is a good service. Many of the students make new friends on their ride to the college every day.”

Friday, the schedule changes slightly with an 8 a.m. departure from the Manistee Transportation offices and it arrives at the WSCC Technical Center building at 8:30 a.m. It departs the college Technical Center Parking lot at 3:50 p.m. on Fridays.

Peters said the runs start at the parking lot across from the Manistee County Transportation building on Memorial Drive, but does make two stops along the way to the college on all three of their runs.

“We then start at our base at 7 a.m. and then at Family Fare at about 7:05 a.m. before we stop at Walgreen’s Drug Store at 7:08 a.m.,” said Peters. “It gives the students at the Family Fare and Walgreen’s the chance that they don’t have to come all the way down to our base to get picked up.”

Thom Hawley, West Shore Community College director of college relations said the program has been very helpful to students. He said the college underwrites the costs of the bus service to encourage more students to pursue their education without concern over transportation costs.

“Some financially strapped students have told us the cost of maintaining a car makes travel to campus more difficult and the bus service is intended to help them overcome that challenge,” said Hawley. “The only way to access many of our services is by car and riding the bus is a real cost saving travel option to those who may be uncertain about meeting college expenses.”

Another added benefit of the service according to Peters is anyone can ride it out to the college even if they are not a student at WSCC.

“It’s for any age as we have seniors who ride with to go swim at the (WSCC) pool or to exercise,” said Peters. “Anyone can get on to ride. We have actually had people ride our bus and transfer to the Ludington Dial-A-Ride to go to a doctor’s appointment and then they catch our bus back home.”

During the fall semester the service will run from Monday to Dec. 13. There will be a Thanksgiving break Nov. 27-29 when the service will not run. The winter semester runs from Jan. 13 to May 1. Spring break will take place from March 27 to April 3.

Anyone with questions should contact Manistee Transportation at (231) 723-6525.

avatar

Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply