Lincoln in jeopardy of losing BisMan Transit

Getting from point A to point B - It's part of a daily schedule. But for some people, their ability to be independent may be in jeopardy with the loss of public transit.

This is BettiJean Olson's ride to work. She relies on the BisMan Transit service to take her from her home in Lincoln to Bismarck.

BettiJean Olson: "Every day, Monday through Friday, I go to work. Sometimes I just do things on the weekend like if I want to do a shopping trip or something," said Olson.

She has used this service for the last 5 years. Before then, Olson says she was in an abusive marriage and only stayed because she had a ride to work.

She added, "When I got the transit, it was like a lifesaver. I started thinking, 'You know, I don't think I have to stay here, you know? I think I can do this."

She's not the only Lincoln resident to use it. From July 1 to September 30th of this year, 395 rides were given out of Lincoln to accomodate 15 different passengers. One of those is Darlene Edwardson. 

"I use the transit an awful, awful lot," said Edwardson.

Edwardson is hard of hearing and also has cancer. She's retired, but uses the transit to get her to doctors appointments and to the grocery store. Without it, she doesn't have a lot of options. 

She said, "I don't want to lose my home, you know. It's my home. It's a lot cheaper than moving to Bismarck and having to rent an apartment. I wouldn't be able to afford it."

BisMan Transit is asking the City of Lincoln for $20,000 before the end of the year. Without the money, it will be discontinued. Olson never thought this would be something she has worry about. 

"There's just no if, ands or buts. The transit bus just absolutely has to be here. We just can't go without it. There's just gotta be a way. It just has to be something that has to work," said Olson.

The City of Lincoln did vote on a mill levy last summer which would have covered the costs. Out of the 3,600 residents, less than 150 came out to vote - and it was shut down.

We reached out to the Mayor of Lincoln, Gerarld Wise. He says the city is working on a solution and exploring other avenues so people don't have to worry come the new year.


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