North Dakota city in jeopardy of losing paratransit service

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LINCOLN, N.D. A city near the central part of North Dakota is in jeopardy of losing its paratransit bus service to Bismarck if it can't acquire funding.

Lincoln has failed to obtain the roughly $20,000 needed to keep the service, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

Earlier this year, voters turned down setting aside two mills that amount to about $20 more for residents per year in property taxes for the buses.

Lincoln also has been unable to acquire grants, city councilman Tom Volk said. Council members are soliciting bids from other service providers to see if they can get a lower price.

Paratransit provided 395 rides to and from Lincoln from July 1 through Sept. 30. Fifteen of those riders used the service for more than half the rides taken, Bis-Man Transit executive director Roy Rickert said.

Rickert said the paratransit service costs $42,400 annually to serve the community. Bis-Man Transit has asked Lincoln to pay for about half, in addition to the $6 per round trip riders pay to use the service.

The city hasn't been able to cover the costs. Volk said Bis-Man Transit's request is a big expense for the cash-strapped city.