OTTUMWA — The way Jay Allison sees it, public transportation isn’t the city’s main focus. It is for 10-15 Transit. So he and the 10-15 Transit board are proposing that the operation take over Ottumwa’s bus system.
The basic proposal calls for 10-15 Transit to formally take over Ottumwa Transit on July 15. The city and 10-15 Transit would continue a financial relationship for three years while the former adjusts to the new arrangement and considers what changes might be needed both for ease of use and for financial stability. After that three-year deal ends, Ottumwa would be out of the transportation business.
“There would be no more obligations,” Allison said.
The proposal has not been discussed by the city council, though that will change next week. The council has a special session scheduled for Tuesday to hear both the 10-15 Transit proposal and a presentation from David Silverio, director of Ottumwa Transit, and Assistant Director Mary Kirk about the route system.
Ottumwa Transit operates five routes in Ottumwa. By comparison, 10-15 Transit covers a much larger area that includes 10 total counties. Territories for the two overlap within Ottumwa.
Allison said the proposal was prompted initially by a state requirement that 10-15 Transit get a memorandum of understanding with Ottumwa Transit. When they began looking at the services each offers, Allison said the board “thought it was a great time to make a proposal” about the takeover.
Tuesday’s discussion of the proposal is not likely to lead to immediate changes. The current plan is for city staff to make a formal recommendation on a course of action at the Jan. 21 council session.
The session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at City Hall. Ottumwa Transit is offering free rides for those who wish to attend the meeting. Riders should call 641-683-0695 to schedule the ride.