Millsboro will jump on the public transit bandwagon when DART expands bus service to the town on Monday, Nov. 10.
The “flex route” from Georgetown to Millsboro follows the same rules as fixed route service. It travels the same hourly loop, costs the same amount and will be included in the DART Daily Pass.
However, it’s more flexible and really designed to go where people need it. People can call two hours beforehand and request a deviation. For an extra $1, the bus will leave the fixed route, up to one mile as the crow flies, to collect people on side streets or outside town limits.
That line costs $1.50 per person, plus $1 per deviation.
But as a special promotion, the base fare will be free until January 2015, though the $1 per deviation fee still applies.
“What better way to get people to try it out?” said Julie Theyerl, DTC/DART public affairs officer.
Service is hourly from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Route 902F begins at the Georgetown Transit Hub, heads south to the Peninsula Crossing (BJ’s) shopping center, loops though downtown Millsboro and returns northward. There are six Millsboro bus stops, in addition to Georgetown.
There are also “Flag Zones” along the regular route, where pedestrians may wave down the bus. Operators will use their discretion for the safest location to stop. Flag Zone drop-offs are also permitted for riders.
“We’re really excited about it, to be able to offer this,” Theyerl said. “It’s for individuals who would use fixed-route or who would use paratransit. For the paratransit [riders], it gives them more flexibility.”
People needing a deviation should request one at least two hours before the trip, or up to two days in advance.
The sevice has an advantage over paratransit because it’s cheaper than the $3 paratransit fare, but can still make deviations with less warning time, and is handicapped-accessible, Theyerl said.
Meanwhile, a reduced base fare of 60 cents is available to those with a Medicare card or DART First State Reduced Fare ID (for those with a certified disability or who are 65 or older).
If a certain bus loop is over-booked with deviations, however, DART has the right to deny additional reservations, to ensure the regular bus service runs on time.
Flex services are also coming to Georgetown (901F) and Seaford (903F). Flex service offers connections to Routes 206, 212, 303.
Service between Georgetown, Bridgeville, Seaford and Laurel is being extended to Delmar, while the Seaford/Laurel/Delmar Shuttle will be discontinued. Route 212 will operate on weekdays on an hourly schedule between 5:35 a.m. and 9:35 p.m., offering connections to Routes 206, 303 and the three new flex routes.
From Delmar, riders can continue to Salisbury, Md., on Maryland’s Shore Transit Route 112.
“We’ve heard a lot of good things, because it’s a new service to a lot of these areas. People have been real receptive,” Theyerl said.
The Delaware Transit Corporation, a subsidiary of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), operates DART First State. For information on fixed-route bus services statewide, visit www.DartFirstState.com or call 1-800-652-DART. (Use Option 3 to request a deviation.)