YMCA and CAT Bus Partnering On New Bus Route

The summer is upon us which means school is out until the fall. The Missouri Valley Family YMCA has a summer program for kids in grades K-6, but even though kids are out of school, parents still have to work so getting kids to the YMCA has been a challenge.

The staff at Missouri Valley Family YMCA and administration at Capital Area Transit (The CAT Bus) have teamed up to develop a trial bus route to help more kids take advantage of the summer program. The new Y-Route will start at 12:57 pm at Saxvik School and last run will end at the Kirkwood Mall at 5:40 pm. It’s a public route, so anyone can utilize it and it’s going to be more efficient for riders who want to go between the east and west ends of Bismarck.

“This is an exciting opportunity to work with another great community organization to encourage more kids to ride The CAT Bus,” said Bis-Man Transit/The CAT Bus Executive Director Robin Werre. “With our student summer fun pass promotion, this is the perfect time of the year to try out a route that was designed to get and keep youth active in our community.”

The Student Summer Fun Pass allows students who have just completed grades K-12 to ride The CAT Buses unlimited times from June 1 – Sept. 4. The cost is $20 for the pass and it’s for all bus routes, not just the Y-Route. The pass can be purchased from CAT Bus drivers or from the Bis-Man Transit/CAT Bus office at 3750 E. Rosser Ave., Bismarck. The YMCA has funds available through a voucher program for families that may not be able to afford the full cost of The CAT Bus Student Summer Fun Pass.

“This is a breakthrough project that we’ve started with the The CAT Bus,” said Missouri Valley Family YMCA Executive Director Andy Dahl. “One of the barriers to getting kids to take part in our summer program has been accessible transportation to get them to and from the YMCA. We’re hoping that more kids take advantage of our program now that we’ve started this new Y-Route.”

The Y-Route is set up to access several schools around Bismarck from Monday-Friday including Riverside School, Will-Moore School, Pioneer School, Saxvik School, and Jeanette Myhre School. Kids from other areas of the community can access other routes that feed into the Y-Route or take them directly to the YMCA. An AmeriCorps staff person will be riding on the route daily to ensure that younger children get on and off the bus and cross the streets safely.

The Y-Route and the YMCA Summer Program will both be starting on June 1, 2010. For more information about the Summer Student Fun Pass or to see the map for the Y-Route, visit www.thecatbus.com or call the Bis-Man Transit/CAT Bus office at 323-9228 (9CAT). If you want more information about the YMCA Summer Program or the voucher system available for low-income families, call the Missouri Valley Family YMCA at (701) 255-1525.