The newly-initiated Summer Concert Bus service was created to fulfill a need in the community.
DWI Program Coordinator Kirsten Bell explained the County’s DWI Planning Council presented to County Council a strategic plan last year.
The plan looked at the community’s needs and what residents seemed to be saying loud and clear was there wasn’t a way to get around town in the evenings and weekends. As a result, the DWI Planning Council partnered with Atomic City Transit (ACT) to provide the Summer Concert Bus service on Friday nights for the County’s Summer Concert Series. The service, which is free, picks people up and drops them off along a fixed route.
The intention is to extend the existing weekday service which ends around 7 p.m. Riders are encouraged to plan ahead and use the regular routes to get to the concert. The extended service will allow people to get there after 7 p.m. and, most importantly, get them home safely at the end of the night.
A new schedule has been released and will be used for the remainder of the concert series.The Summer Concert Bus service debuted May 26 and has grown in popularity. Bell reported on June 16, up to 94 people utilized the service.
“We want to encourage everyone to get home safe,” Bell said. She added usage started slow but gradually more and more people have taken advantage of the service. “It’s finally picking up steam. I think people are realizing it’s a great service.”
A grant from the state will fund the service through the end of June and County Council agreed to fund the bus service for the remainder of the Summer Concert Series which ends Sept. 8. Bell said the program costs approximately $1,500 per night.
Bell credited the great collaboration between the DWI Planning Council and Atomic City Transit for the service’s success. “It’s just another way that the county is collaborating to provide these great, free services to our residents,” she said.
ACT Transit Management Analyst Kyle Hatch also sees the benefits of the program. “I think it’s something the public has been wanting,” he said. “The Summer Concerts have been going on a while and it’s just wonderful to provide a bus service.”
He added, “People are real excited to use the bus service to the concerts.”
The new service joins several existing ones the DWI Planning Council and ACT provide residents in an effort to end DWI in Los Alamos. During certain holidays such as New Year’s Eve or St. Patrick’s Day, the DWI Planning Council provides funding for ACT to operate the Buzz Bus Dial-A-ride program, which provides transportation to those who feel they have drunk have too much to drink and shouldn’t get behind the wheel.
For areas not directly accessible by the fixed route followed by the Summer Concert Bus Service, Dial-A-Ride service is also available. Advanced reservations are recommended by not required. To request a ride via this point-to-point service, riders can call 661-RIDE (661-7433). Regarding the new addition, Bell said, “It’s such a great service and I’m happy to be a part of it.”