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New ‘Twilight Route’ Begins Operation Oct. 1 | News

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New ‘Twilight Route’ Begins Operation Oct. 1
News, Transportation
New ‘Twilight Route’ Begins Operation Oct. 1

Many Holland area residents have asked for evening bus service from the Macatawa Area Express (MAX) and, beginning this fall, they’ll get their wish.  On October 1, the MAX transit system will begin operating a new “Twilight” deviated fixed bus route from 7-10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.    

The MAX Authority Board approved the operation of a new 13.6 mile Twilight route at its August 27 board meeting.  The new nighttime route with nearly 30 bus stops will cover as much of the high density urban area as possible in a 50-minute loop to provide nightly transportation to the greatest number of residents.  

“The Twilight Route is a significant first step and creative approach to meeting the community’s needs for evening transportation services without incurring major increases in operating costs,” said Linda LeFebre, director of the MAX Authority.  “Evening bus service consistently ranks as the most requested improvement by passengers on our annual surveys.  The addition of this service will contribute directly to employment and economic development in our community.”

The Twilight bus will leave the Padnos Transportation Center at :00 each hour, and then return to the transfer center again at :55.  The route will pass through downtown Holland, east on 16th St., through the Holland Heights area, north on Waverly Rd. and along the US 31 shopping and hotel corridor before heading down US 31 and Chicago Dr. to return to the transfer center.  The bus may deviate off route up to twice an hour to accommodate persons with disabilities or those more than ¾ mile from a bus stop. The final boarding for passengers to reach their destination will be during the 9 p.m. hour.

Standard one way fares of $1 for adults and 50 cents for children age 5-17 will apply. Seniors 65 years and older, and ADA and Medicare cardholders will ride for free as they do now on all the regular fixed routes.  Passengers requiring deviations on the Twilight route will pay the higher reserved ride fare of $5 for adults and $2 for children, seniors and ADA cardholders.  

Since 2008, MAX has operated an evening “Night Owl” demand response service using one bus with one driver, but demand far exceeds the capacity of about 15-20 rides per evening.  After the Twilight route ceases fixed route operation at 10 a.m., the bus and driver will be used as a second Night Owl demand response bus for reserved rides given until 12:15 a.m. to accommodate third shift workers.

The Twilight Route is made possible by a $60,000 New Freedom federal grant to the Authority to improve evening service.  The grant requires MAX to provide 50 percent matching funding for the service.  MAX’s Night Owl demand response service also is funded with a New Freedom federal grant.

The new Twilight route map with bus stop locations and times will be available on MAX’s website at www.catchamax.org, and printed route bus schedules will be available in mid-September.  Persons also may call MAX Customer Service at (616) 355-1010 for more information on the new route.

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