After series of VNL investigative stories, MATBUS announces survey to improve services

Over the last year and a half, Valley News Live has done a series of investigative reports on MATBUS driver
Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 6:31 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - MATBUS is asking the public for input on how to improve its services by filling out a 10 minute survey.

Over the last year and a half, Valley News Live has done a series of investigative reports on MATBUS drivers and the hundreds of complaints the transit system has received from riders and the general public.

MATBUS drivers are employed through the third-party contractor First Transit.

Some of the complaints we’ve uncovered included one of a driver hitting a woman in downtown Fargo as she was crossing.

There have been several instances of drivers ignoring stop signs, and oftentimes, causing crashes.

According to documents, a driver spilled his coffee and while reaching to pick up the cup, he crashed into a parked vehicle in Moorhead.

There’s also video of a driver’s gas pedal getting stuck, causing him to rear end the bus in front of him.

MATBUS drivers have also been attacked by riders. There were several cases documented where they were punched in the face while working.

The transit system made the survey public on Wednesday.

On its website, MATBUS stated it’s looking to identify transit needs in the community as leaders work on a five year plan for the service.

Although they provided ideas for improvement, the riders we spoke to Thursday were overwhelmingly satisfied with MATBUS.

“I think they’re doing so great right now with everything being for free,” Marquise Walker said. “The only thing I would suggest is a Sunday morning service or something.”

Benjamin Enderle was waiting for the bus at the intersection of 3rd St N and 4th Ave, and he expressed satisfaction with the service.

“Maybe kind of keeping a clear way to update things, like you know, if there’s a route change or something,” Enderle said.

Norah Vitali said Fargo’s bus system doesn’t compare to that in the Twin Cities.

“I’d like more accurate bus times,” Vitali said. “Sometimes they don’t always come in the scheduled time and I always have to like look at Google to see when they come by. Also, it doesn’t ever tell you like what route comes by. It just says MATBUS.”

We reached out to the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Government, which is in charge of the survey, but they have yet to respond to our request for comment.

The deadline for the survey is September 28. Here’s a link to fill it out.

VNL MATBUS Investigative stories
Investigation reveals bus drivers in FM-area assaulted by passengers

City bus drivers tend to have a stressful job and our investigation has revealed it also may be dangerous for some in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area.

MATBus drivers breaking the rules of the road

Some riders on city buses in the Fargo-Moorhead area have expressed concerns with safety.

Exclusive: Hundreds of reports show complaints and collisions involving MATBUS drivers

In a video, a person is seen flying off their seats after a bus collides with another bus

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