Cape bus service begins - good but bumpy first day

Cape bus service begins - good but bumpy first day
By: Tiffany Sisson
Cape Girardeau, MO - With gas prices at record highs, now, is an premium time to roll out a new public transportation system. For the first time since 1969, Cape Girardeau joins Carbondale and Paducah to provide a low-price alternative.
"Next stop, Save-A-Lot!" Those words are being echoed for the first time in nearly 40 years in Cape Girardeau.
"People have been trying to do this 30 years, trying to get something like this pulled off," explained Jeff Brune, executive director of Cape Public Transit Authority.
The wheels are now in motion, with Brune in the driver's seat. "A public transit bus can be more reliable, more dependable, they know exactly when it's gonna be at this bus stop and they can plan their day around it," said Brune.
Brune helped to map out the city's first fixed bus route since 1969. The bus strategically weaves its way through town, linking passengers to medical centers, shopping, and even entertainment. Service starts at the main office on broadway, loops through Old Town Cape, and goes out as far as Wal Mart. There are 27 designated bus stops.
The move can be difficult for some to get their heads around, "There's a huge learning curve, going from 1969 to today. We've gone through several generations of people who don't understand the "bus", said Brune.
Nathan Cromwell is already running into some roadblocks, "Let's say it's raining or it's so hot outside, you cannot call a cab because you live so far away from the bus stop."
Nathan lives nearly a mile outside of the bus zone. "We wanted to start the system where we knew the rider-ship and the people that already use public transportation, where it would impact them first," explained Brune.
There are systems in place for discounted rides for seniors and the disabled. In some cases they can ride the bus for free if they can't afford it.