John J. Williams Highway (Route 24) recently got some attention in the latest DART public transit redesign. A year-round bus route will now make the rounds on Route 24, and the schedule will match the shift changes at the Mountaire poultry processing plant.
But much-needed updates also mean a much-delayed fare increase. The Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) postponed both changes from mid-January until Sunday, Feb. 14, to finalize them.
“There’s been a need for service in that area. It’s just a more rural area. It is more difficult to serve with more public transit,” said Julie Theyerl, DTC-DART Marketing & Public Affairs officer.
On weekdays, the new DART Route 215 will connect Millsboro to Rehoboth Beach with 10 trips, half heading eastbound and half westbound.
Route 215 stops run from Route 1 at Pelican Square Shopping Center (includes Super Fresh); to Route 24 opposite the Eye Institute; Route 24 opposite Beebe Health Campus; Route 24 opposite Love Creek Marina; Route 24 at Peddlers Village; the Route 24 and Route 23 intersection; Mountaire Farms; and Mid-Sussex Shopping Center opposite Roses.
Trips begin in Rehoboth at 5:45 a.m., 7 a.m., 2:45 p.m., 3:39 p.m. and 4:39 p.m. Trips begin in Millsboro at 6:30 a.m., 7:45 a.m., 3:33 p.m., 4:24 p.m. and 5:24 p.m.
The routes connect to other DART bus routes. From Millsboro, riders can join the Route 902 Flex for Georgetown/Millsboro. From Rehoboth, riders may cross the highway to reach the Movies at Midway, a stop on DART Route 206—Georgetown/Lewes/Rehoboth.
Buses only stop at designated locations. People cannot exit the bus elsewhere along the route. Riders can bring cash, purchase a DART card or purchase daily pass on the bus itself.
Mountaire gets flexible
Mountaire is joining two bus routes.
Working men and women can also catch the Millsboro Flex Route 902, which will be extended five times a day to Mountaire on Route 24.
“We’ve gotten a lot of requests from Mountaire and … it’s basically scheduled to meet Mountaire’s shift times,” Theyerl said.
Drop-offs will occur around 6:20 a.m., 7:20 a.m., 3:20 p.m., 4:20 p.m. and 5:20 p.m. Departures will be soon thereafter.
For an extra dollar, Sussex County’s flex routes will collect or deliver riders to any location within one mile of its regular bus loop, from Georgetown to Millsboro (with a reservation made at least two hours in advance).
Those are just a few of DART’s statewide changes to update service on many routes, including time changes on other Sussex County routes.
Riders will also pay a little more money. This is the final part of a three-phase fare increase that began in 2014. Flex service began that year, too.
As of Feb. 14, the statewide fares will increase:
• Fixed-route or Sussex County Flex (cost per trip) — cash fare $2 (formerly $1.75); reduced fare 80 cents (formerly 70 cents); daily pass $4.20 (formerly $3.70); off-route Flex option by reservation is still $1 (cash or DARTCard).
• Intercounty Route 303 (cost per zone) — cash fare $2 (formerly $1.75); reduced fare 80 cents (formerly 70 cents); daily pass $4.20 (formerly $3.70)
• Intercounty Routes 301 and 305 (cost per zone) — cash fare $2.60 (formerly $2.30); reduced fare $1 (formerly 90 cents); daily pass $5.50 (formerly $4.80).
New schedules will be available online at www.DartFirstState.com. Details can be found at http://dartfirststate.com/information/routes/index.shtml.