New bus routes coming to Northwoods in January
By Ken Krall, WXPR News
New routes are starting after the first of the year for the Oneida and Vilas county public bus service. Northwoods Transit Connections’ new manager Roger Youngren said the three new routes will connect some rural areas they do not currently serve.
“One service is the Eagle Eye which connects Phelps, Land O’ Lakes, Conover and Eagle River,” Youngren said. “That will run three times a week, Monday-Wednesday-Friday and three times a day during those days.”
The other two new routes will run from Lakeland, Rhinelander, Three Lakes, Sugar Camp, Eagle River, Saint Germain and back to Lakeland.
The third route will run from Phelps to Land O’Lakes, Conover, Eagle River and back to Phelps.
“People who live in Conover, Land O’ Lakes, Phelps could actually take a bus first thing in the morning, transfer in Eagle River to the Bear Paw service or the Whitetail service and make their way over to Lakeland area for doctor appointments, shopping,” Youngren explained.
He says the on-demand service will continue in Rhinelander, Lakeland and Eagle River areas; the fares, he said, will hold for now.
“They’re going to hold in-town which is a five-mile radius. Right now the fare for seniors or the disabled is a dollar. For outlying areas we’ve set up the fares pretty much by mileage. If you’re within 16 miles for a trip one-way that would be $3.25 for elderly and disabled one way. Anything over 22 miles would be $3.75.”
Ridership in November and December was nearly 4,000 customers per month and Youngren hopes ridership will increase by 10 percent due to the new routes.