WESTMINSTER — Changes in the Carroll Transit System, which serves as the county's public transportation, should mean more stops, longer service hours, more flexible routes and cheaper fares for most riders, Executive Director Linda Boyer said Monday.
Carroll Transit, a non-profit agency, contracts with county government to provide low-cost bus and van transportation.
The announced changes are:
* The Shoppers Shuttle is adding 2 1/2 hours of operation and more stops to its schedule. The new stops will include Washington Heights Medical Center, Crossroads
Square and apartment complexes on Pennsylvania Avenue. The fare will remain at $1 each way.
* The time between shuttle stops will be increasedbeyond the former 36-minute intervals.
* The demand-response service, in which riders call a day ahead to go to places not on the fixed shuttle route, will change its rate structure.
The changes will not affect senior center service, which remains $1 each way.
The new shuttle route is in answer to an increased demand in recent months, Boyer said. She said the agency hopes the changes will increase ridership while reducing operating costs and miles driven.
The shuttle route change is in effect on a trial basis. The shuttle travels a loop through Westminster, stopping at major shopping areas and residential centers.
Boyer said the longer schedule will enable drivers to be more flexible, allowing slight deviations from the shuttle routefor door-to-door service for disabled riders.
The agency formerlycharged by the mile for demand-response rides, with costs ranging from $1 to $12 depending on mileage, and with discounts for seniors andthe disabled. Boyer said the new system will operate using county election zones and should be less confusing.
A trip between two places within one zone will always be $2, regardless of age or mileage, Boyer said. Every zone the van has to cross into will cost an additional $2.
A trip from the farthest reaches of the county into Westminster will never cost more than $6, Boyer said. Before, the same trip could cost as much as $12.