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Mandan invests in public transit

nurse helping senior man enter a van

At their October 4 meeting, the Mandan City Commission voted to provide $44,835 in funding for Bis-Man Transit’s paratransit services for 2023.

This decision follows a July action by the Bismarck City Commission to provide $250,000 to the program in both 2023 and 2024.

The paratransit service ensures riders with disabilities and those over 70 years old have safe, affordable transportation option to move around the community to attend medical appointments, shop for groceries, goods and services and socialize with family and friends.

A funding shortfall threatened to eliminate service outside of the normal paratransit operations (called non-ADA service) provided by Bis-Man Transit. Non-ADA service is a service offered in addition to the federally funded Americans with Disabilities Paratransit transportation also provided by Bis-Man Transit.

AARP volunteers have actively supported funding for Bis-Man Transit, sending emails, providing testimony and attending city council meetings on both sides of the river.

The service is critical for seniors who no longer drive, says AARP ND State Director Josh Askvig.

“For our members and other older citizens, public transportation is a factor in their economic, physical, and mental health. People can’t thrive if they can’t get to work, appointments and social opportunities,” Josh Askvig, AARP ND State Director. “AARP ND applauds the Mandan City Commission for helping to fund this service through 2024. We look forward taking part in finding a solution that secures this valuable service.”

Neither Bismarck nor Mandan currently has any licensed taxi companies, and rideshare services are dependent on operators, making paratransit the only dependable transportation option for older citizens.

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