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Rural Public Transit Facility Dedicated


February 7, 2005 (05-014)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News Contact:  Steve Swartz (785) 296-3585

Congressman Moran, KDOT Secretary Miller Dedicate Rural Public Transit Facility

HAYS - Congressman Jerry Moran and Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Deb Miller joined federal and local leaders today to mark the opening of the new home of a Hays-based rural transit service.

The 14,000 square-foot facility, owned by Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas (DSNWK), will house eight ACCESS buses, which are used to provide public transportation in Hays and Ellis County. More than 70 percent of its riders are disabled or elderly.

"Public transit is playing an increasingly important role in how we address some of the demographic changes we are experiencing in Kansas. I would expect that many other communities will want to see what you have done here," said Miller.

In addition to the ACCESS buses, the facility will house an intercity bus that travels between St. Francis and Hays five days a week, utilizing three different routes.

"This is the first building to be constructed in Kansas specifically as a rural public transit facility and will be a great resource for Northwest Kansas," Moran said. "The service provided by Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas serves as an example for other rural communities of how to increase the quality of life of its citizens."

The property on which the building sits was once a Kansas Highway Patrol office before being sold to DSNWK by KDOT in October 2003. Construction of the $1.85 million facility was funded through federal money administered by KDOT.

"This is an important service for the older and disabled population in Northwest Kansas," said Ron Straight of DSNWK. "This facility will allow us to get our buses out of the elements, extend their service life, and make the most efficient use of our funds."

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