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Iowa City improving public transit to help with climate goals

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) – City staff in Iowa City are examining public transit fares, routes and schedules this fall and winter; trying to boost ridership to help with climate goals.

“They’re not waiting. They’re actually going out, showing leadership and being proactive,” Robert Walton said, a 20-year Iowa City resident who has been without a car for three years. “I kind of like the idea that I’m not contributing to greenhouse gases. I take pride in that.”

The city is considering expanding the bus system’s hours and even flirting with moving to a free system as part of the transit study.

The city also released a 100-day report Friday, on next steps since declaring a “climate crisis” in August.

“It really is what we’re looking for,” Iowa City Mayor Jim Throgmorton said, praising his city staff’s work. “I think it’s tremendously important.”

The 100-day report also covers how the city can hold builders to higher energy standards, how it can best cooperate with community stakeholders like the University of Iowa and MidAmerican Energy and ways to incentive waste diversion programs.

It has 64 recommendations, 29 of them to be carried out next year.

The city held two input sessions this week on the transit study and invites people to design their own transit system through its website.

 

Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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