The Payson Senior Center hosted a “re-launch” party for the Beeline Bus July 5 to celebrate new routes and service.

They offered hot dogs, cookies, cupcakes, coffee and other beverages to the seniors who ride the bus and community members interested in the service.

Mayor Tom Morrissey attended to support the program.

Experience, customer feedback and the addition of a transportation specialist with 20 years experience led the Payson Senior Center to fine-tune the Beeline Bus routes.

The new routes, which took effect July 8, include new stops and the removal of others. The new expanded routes, easier to read maps and trained operators help passengers find the easiest and fastest way to get to their destination, organizers say.

Transportation specialist Michael Hernandez audited the initial routes and created new red and blue routes. He also implemented additional operator/driver training and safety procedures.

“Our goal is to make the Beeline Bus the friendliest, safest and most reliable bus system in Arizona,” said Suzanne Kammerman, director of operations with Payson Senior Center.

The bus routes service Payson, Star Valley and Mesa del Caballo. The Roundup published the new routes on June 25. PDFs of the routes can be downloaded at paysonroundup.com.

The buses run Monday through Friday.

“Starting in the fall we hope to have half-a-day routes on Saturdays,” said Kammerman. “More information on that possibility will be available soon.”

Bus fares are cash only (exact change required). Adults $1; Seniors (60+) 50 cents; Youth (5-17) 50 cents and children under 5 (with a paying adult) free. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.

All Access monthly passes are available for $40/month for adults, and $20/month for youth and seniors.

All the vehicles are ADA compliant (wheelchair and handicapped accessible).

One personal care attendant may ride for free per one person.

Service animals are welcome on the bus. Other animals are allowed only if they are small, in a carrier and under the control of their owner.

The Beeline Bus offers “Free Ride Fridays” each Friday for people who want to try out the bus.

The Beeline Bus started in December 2018 and is being run through the Payson Senior Center with the support of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and in partnership with Gila County, the towns of Payson and Star Valley and the Payson Senior Center.

For more information, visit beelinebus.info.

Digital Media Mgr/Staff Reporter/Photographer

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