FARMINGTON — Red Apple Transit is getting some new routes starting today.

Since last summer, the transit service has completed ridership surveys, held public meetings and engaged drivers to redesign the system so it better serves the needs of the community.

City officials are confident that it will.

"Monday will be the first time the buses travel on the new routes," said Assistant City manager Bob Campbell. "Sometime (this) week I'm going to ride one. I think I will take the Civic Center to the college. It should be pretty cool, only 30 minutes."

A major change that will contribute to increased efficiency and decreased ride times is the switch from loops to a line-based service. The loop routes means riders often have to wait the loop out to get to a particular destination.

With a line-based service, the buses travel both directions on a single line, allowing passengers to get on and off on either side of the line, which drastically shortens both ride and bus stop wait times.

"We really had a lot of driver input," Campbell said. "They have something called a turn sheet that provides specifics of the route, where to turn and so on. Those were developed with the drivers while we were doing the routes with them."

Not only do the new routes increase efficiency and decrease wait times, but they also increase the transit system's reach.

"Most of the bus stops will stay the same, but we are adding a few," Campbell said.


"One of the big changes is that we will be stopping at a lot more neighborhoods on all the routes, even the regional ones. We are extending the service to San Juan College and adding some stops up on Crouch Mesa."

Fares are changing, as well.

While the price of a single ticket will stay at $1, the price of a regional pass will be cut in half, from $120 to $60. Dial-a-Ride fares for non-paratransit riders are increasing from $2 to $5.

"I have never been on the bus, but I probably need to, just to be able to say that I have been," said Mayor Tommy Roberts, while laughing. "I'm excited to see these changes made. User input really makes any system better. The main idea was to increase ridership, and I think we will see an increase."