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Informative.

That's my Citilink.

News, Events & Media Releases

Download this media releaseFor Immediate Release: July 6, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, Asst. GM, bek@fwcitilink.com

CITILINK FREE FARE - FESTIVAL ARTS CONNECTION – SATURDAY, JULY 8, 2017

Not only is it easier to come downtown on the bus for the Three Rivers Festival Parade, than having to find a parking place, but your ride will be FREE! Watch the parade for the Citilink bus (unit 87) – decorated to celebrate 50 years of transit service to our community. Stick around and enjoy the Chalk Walk, Marketplace, Art in the Park, etc. then catch the bus to go home.

Don't live on a bus route? We are encouraging folks to Park & Ride at the following locations:

  • Meijer, Lima Road – Route 4, Wells/Ludwig
  • Meijer, Illinois Road – Route 2, Times Corners
  • Georgetown Square – Route 2, Georgetown
  • Southtown Centre – Routes 7 & 8, Calhoun/Anthony
  • Lincoln Plaza – Route 10, New Haven

All routes & Citilink Access will operate regular Saturday service for FREE from 7:45am – 6:15pm (last bus leaves downtown at 5:15pm). Not sure where or when to catch the bus? Call Citilink Customer Service 432-4546 for route information and check out our website www.fwcitilink.com to use our Trip Planner and track your bus in real time using our RouteShout app or Route Watch map. Like us on Facebook for service updates. Due to the TRF Parade & Chalk Walk, many of the Citilink routes will have temporary detours. Please see the attached list.

Citilink – Connecting you to the Three Rivers Festival!

Download this media releaseFor Immediate Release: June 13, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, AGM, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Annual National Dump the Pump Day to be held on June 15

"Dump the Pump. Save Some Green. Ride the Blue."

With the continued fluctuation of gas prices, Fort Wayne Citilink announced today that it will join with other public transportation systems nationwide to participate in the eleventh annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 15th.

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the 2017 National Dump the Pump Day is a day that encourages people to ride public transportation and save money, instead of driving a car. Started in June 2006, when gas prices were $3 per gallon, this national day emphasizes that public transportation is a great travel option that also helps people save money. According to the April APTA Transit Savings Report, individuals in a two-person household can save an average of more than $9,823 annually by downsizing to one car.

Additionally, public transportation is a cornerstone of economic development. Every $1 invested in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns, powering community growth and revitalization. For more information regarding the benefits of public transit and efforts to improve transit in Fort Wayne please review the Bus Fort Wayne Plan.

Tell us why you "Dumped the Pump". Ride the bus on June 15th and send a photo and your views on the benefits of public transit for you & your community to the Citilink Facebook page and you will be eligible to win a Citilink bus pass for your next ride on us.

Want to know more about how to ride a Citilink bus? Give Citilink a call at 432-4546. Customer service representatives will help you plan your trip. You may also check out the trip planner, real time information (Route Watch), mobile app (RouteShout) and our new Mobile Ticketing app (Token Transit) on the Citilink website www.fwcitilink.com. You can also check out the award winning Citilink Dump the Pump commercial.

Download this media releaseFor Immediate Release: May 16, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, AGM, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Citilink Youth Summer Fun Pass

Best deal in town! Unlimited rides all summer long for only 30 cents/day. Let Citilink help get your kids to their summer programs & jobs.

Youth Summer Fun Pass (Ages 5-18)
$25.00 for May 22 – August 13

For more information contact Citilink 432-4546 or the Citilink online bus pass store.

Passes are available at most Kroger stores, City Utilities at Citizen's Square, the Citilink administrative office, or on-line from the Citilink website.

Letter to the Editor/Opinion
Article By Ethan Cameron
For National Public Transportation Career Day - 5/18/17

Why I'm Considering a Career in Public Transport

I have long had a strong interest in cities and what makes them vibrant and enjoyable places to live, however this interest took quite a while to develop. Like many younger kids, I had a wooden train set growing up. This was easily one of my favourite toys to play with. Little did I know that this interest in trains would develop into a serious career interest over the next ten to fifteen years.

One of my first really impactful experiences with cities and public transport was a family trip to Washington, D.C. In short, I found the vibrant city life and the Metro to be incredibly inspiring. Additional trips to major cities showed me just what life could be like if a city had a robust transport system along with walkable development. Rather than living life trapped in a car, one could get around and really take in the environment around them. As I entered high school my passion to live a car-free life, as well as my interest in urban and transport planning, persisted.

In 2013, during the Spring Holiday, I went to a public meeting for the Northeast Indiana Regional Coordinating Council (NIRCC) where they were seeking public comment on the 2035 Transportation Plan. While scanning the posters for the plans, I happened to start talking with Betsy Kachmar, the Assistant General Manager for Citilink, about the state of public transport in Fort Wayne. This discussion culminated in an offer for an internship during the summer.

During my multi-summer internship, I helped out with a whole range of tasks that helped give me an idea what working in the public transport field may be like. These jobs ranged from conducting on-board passenger surveys, analysing route performance, helping make the RouteShout real-time information system functional by inputting timetable data, and other jobs. As I did not yet have a driving license when I first started, I always commuted by bus as well. Thus, I saw almost all components of what makes Citilink function. Not only was the internship itself very rewarding, but I met many wonderful passengers and drivers along the way.

Ethan CameronI am now finishing my first year studying urban planning at Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. While I am not sure exactly where I will end up or what I will be doing, as urban planning is a very broad field, working in transport planning ranks very high on my list. Not least because of my experience working at Citilink, but also because I would like to help make public transport more widely available and more accessible. Whether you drive, bike, walk, or take the bus, public transport impacts us all, which is why it is a truly valuable asset.

Download this media releaseFor Immediate Release: March 7, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, AGM, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Public Transportation Riders Power our Economy

In Fort Wayne, and across the United States, public transportation riders are an integral part of the engine that powers the economy, according to a new demographic study from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). The study Who Rides Public Transportation reveals that 87% of trips on public transportation bring employees to their workplace or consumers to businesses. Almost 90% of transit passengers are in the most economically active years of their life – ages 20 to 64, the study shows.

"Public transportation drives our economy forward," said Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager. "Not only do we employ 120 people and contribute by purchasing local products to keep our system moving, we connect Fort Wayne's employees to their workplace. Our community should not ignore the instrumental role that public transportation plays in moving our community to the next level."

The National Facts:

Sixty-three percent of public transit riders use it at least five days a week; 13 percent every day. Commuting is the primary trip purpose for many users, however, many also use public transit for shopping, dining and other activities that grow the economy.

Other important public transit rider demographics highlighted in the study include:

  • More than 51% of public transit riders hold a Bachelor's degree or higher level of education.
  • The top level of the income spectrum, $100,000/year or above, of a household that uses public transit is very similar (21%) to the percent of all U.S. households (23%) in this top income level.
  • The majority of public transit users are women (55%).
  • Public transit users are multi-modal; 65% have a driver's license.
  • More than two-thirds of public transit users walk to their stop; thus classifying public transit as a healthy, "active transportation" option.
  • Nationally, in urban areas with a population between 200,000 and 999,999, 48% of transit users are employed and 24% are students. This means 72% of transit riders are working or preparing for a career. In Fort Wayne, rider surveys conducted in 2011 indicated over half of Citilink riders were going to/from work or school. Other trips include shopping, recreation, medical, etc.

As we travel on the Road to 1 Million residents in Northeast Indiana, investment in public transit infrastructure will be a key to maintaining a healthy economy, reducing the negative impacts of density (congestion, pollution, parking, land use issues, etc.) and getting people where the need to go where ever life takes them.

March 1, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, AGM, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Fort Wayne Citilink Joins Disability Awareness Month

March is Disability Awareness Month. This year's theme is "I'm Not Your Inspiration" - emphasizing that people with disabilities are people first. Often, people with disabilities who are successful, athletic, employed or simply good neighbors are put in the spotlight as an inspiration to others. While it can be difficult to navigate life with a disability, many people in the disability community would prefer to be acknowledged for the many real contributions they make and for a life well lived.

  • Fort Wayne Citilink is proud to provide mobility to ALL members of our community.
  • One hundred percent of our buses and transit facilities are accessible.
  • Citilink Access provides 63,000 door-to-door trips each year to riders when they are unable to utilized fixed route service
  • Citilink provides 20,500 free trips each year on fixed route buses to Access eligible riders when they are able to use fixed route to their destination
  • Over 2,900 fixed route trips are provided annually to passengers using wheelchair mobility devices

"During Disability Awareness Month let us remember that public transit is a lifeline for hundreds of our residents; especially those with disabilities", said Betsy Kachmar, Citilink AGM, "Citilink service provides freedom and independence, access to jobs and social events. Efforts to expand and improve our transit system are dependent upon action by the Indiana General Assembly and US Congress. Funding uncertainty significantly impacts the availability of affordable, accessible mobility for all."

The Indiana Governor's Council for People with Disabilities has put together some Disability Awareness Month materials; including, these videos at the links below:

 

For questions or more information, contact the Indiana Governor's Council for People with Disabilities at http://www.indianadisabilityawareness.org/contact-us.asp

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network
4606-C E. State Blvd., Suite 102
Fort Wayne, IN 46815

act@fifthfreedom.org
http://fifthfreedom.org
http://jobdoozy.org
http://indianapop.org

Transit Day at the Statehouse on Tuesday, February 21st.

Please save the date and register for Transit Day at the Statehouse on Tuesday, February 21st. Last year we secured attendance from over 35 state legislators and over 100 participants. Meeting with your elected officials to let them know the impact that transit makes in your community is absolutely crucial. Don't miss your chance to change the future of transit- register today!

Pre-registration is available on-line with more details to follow as we get closer to the big day. Please join us if you can. We hope to take a van load or two!

Step 1 – Visit the ICAT Transit Day page & register to attend http://www.indianacat.org/transit-day/

Step 2 – Reply to this email & let me know you plan to come with us.

Step 3 – Meet at Citilink (801 Leesburg Road) at 7:00am on February 21st & plan to return by 4:00pm. A stop at Trader Joe's on the way home is likely ;-)

INvest INtransit promo

Download this media releaseDecember 20, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: Pamela Schieber, Special Services Manager at 432-4977

Citilink Christmas & New Year's Holiday Schedule

Citilink will observe the Christmas Holiday on Monday, December 26, 2016 and New Year's Day Holiday on Monday, January 2, 2017. Citilink will not operate Fixed Route or Access bus service on these days.

CampusLink service will not operate during the Ivy Tech winter break (Thursday, December 15 through Monday, January 16, 2017). This service will resume on Tuesday, January 17, 2017.

Cougar Express service will not operate during the University of Saint Francis winter break (Friday, December 16 through Monday, January 16, 2017. This service will resume on Tuesday January 17, 2017.

On Christmas Eve Day (Saturday, December 24, 2016) Citilink will run the regular Saturday schedule; the last line up at Citilink Central Station will be at 5:15 P.M. and service will end by 6:15 P.M.

Citilink services will also operate a regular Saturday schedule on New Year's Eve Day (Saturday, December 31, 2016). Schedule information is available by calling 432-4546 or by accessing the Citilink website at fwcitilink.com.

Download this media releaseDecember 1, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Free Fare Saturdays in December 2016

Citilink is offering FREE Fare Saturdays to "dump the pump" (save gas) "ride the blue" (Citilink bus) and "save some green" (reduce pollution, save money).

  • Ride any Citilink Route on FOUR Saturdays in December for FREE.
  • December 3, 10 & 17 & 24 will be fare FREE Saturdays. Saturday service runs every hour from 7:45 am – 6:15 pm.
  • Save the hassle of driving & parking. Spend your green on your family & friends instead of gas. Shop Downtown, Georgetown, Southtown, Glenbrook, Jefferson Pointe – Citilink goes all over town!
  • Plan your trip using our Trip Planner on the Citilink website. Get real time bus arrival information using our RouteWatch map or RouteShout app.

For more information on Free Fare Saturdays or other Citilink service information call 432-4546 or visit the website at www.fwcitilink.com

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 22, 2016
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager 432-4977

Citilink Installs Special Seats Honoring Rosa Parks

Fort Wayne Citilink is marking the 60th anniversary of an event that put public transportation at the center of America's struggle for civil rights.

Rosa Parks earned her reputation as the mother of the civil rights movement by refusing to surrender her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama on December 1, 1955. That sparked a national movement that eventually brought an end to legal segregation.

Citilink is recognizing that moment in history by installing a yellow "Rosa Parks" permanent seat on 31 Fort Wayne Citilink fixed-route buses in her honor.

This project was suggested by Citilink board member Glynn Hines after learning of a similar tribute by another transit system.

"Rosa Parks' quiet strength helped make a seat available for everyone," Hines said. "Freedom and justice for all' is not just a phrase - it is a journey. It is important to recognize how far we have come and how far we have yet to travel."

Participants in an event revealing the tribute to Mrs. Parks include: Fort Wayne Urban League President Jonathan Ray, Fort Wayne NAACP President Larry Gist, Fort Wayne Citilink Board Member & City Councilman Glynn Hines, Lewis Sims-Fort Wayne's first African American public transit bus driver (hired in 1955), three generations of African American Citilink bus drivers (John Thomas, Richard Thomas Sr. & Richard Thomas Jr.), and Citilink board members and staff.

Mrs. Park's act of defiance encouraged over 50,000 riders to participate in a 381-day boycott of a private bus company, Montgomery City Lines, and ignited a national movement that ended legal segregation on buses (and the bus boycott) when the Supreme Court declared the practice unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. The bus she rode on that fateful day is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan.

Throughout her lifetime Rosa Parks was active with the NAACP, Montgomery Improvement Association (led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), Voter's League, Planned Parenthood, and served on the staff of Michigan Congressman John Conyers. She received the World Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, and more than 43 honorary doctorate degrees. She co-created two charitable foundations: The Rosa L. Parks College Scholarship Foundation and the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development; which operates Pathways to Freedom educational bus tours for youth. She also co-authored four books Rosa Parks: My Story, Quiet Strength, Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialogue with Today's Youth, and I AM ROSA PARKS. The Rosa Parks Museum is located at Troy University in Montgomery, Alabama.

Mrs. Parks, a resident of Detroit, Michigan for nearly 50 years, was born on February 4, 1913 and died at the age of 92 on October 24, 2005. In mourning, the cities of Montgomery and Detroit reserved the front seats of their buses with black ribbons. Her casket was transported, by a bus similar to the one in which she made her protest, to lay in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol; the first woman and second African American to be honored in this way. A quiet example of courage, dignity, and determination; Rosa Parks stated, "I am leaving this legacy to all of you to bring peace, justice, equality, love and fulfillment of what our lives should be. Without vision, the people will perish, and without courage and inspiration, dreams will die – the dream of freedom and peace."

We gather today to honor this one woman's dream of freedom and peace, represented by this token of appreciation. However, this seat also serves as a reminder and a challenge for us to take her place and repeat her message as we continue to chase the dream.

Condra Ridley as Rosa Parks – Local librarian Ms. Ridley has portrayed the history of Ms. Parks with numerous presentations.

Hines & Sims - Citilink Board Member & City Councilman Glynn Hines shaking hands with Fort Wayne's first African-American bus driver Louis Sims. In the background are Citilink Board Members Sherese Fortriede & Fred Lanahan.

Download this media releaseNovember 16, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, 410-4991, bek@fwcitilink.com

MEDIA EVENT

Who: Fort Wayne Citilink and Urban League
What: Rosa Parks Commemorative Transit Bus Seat Dedication
When: Tuesday, November 22nd, 10:00am
Where: Fort Wayne Urban League, 2135 South Hanna Street

Rosa Parks Seat Media Event Citilink

Rosa Parks became known as the mother of the civil rights movement after she refused to surrender her seat to a white man on a Montgomery Alabama bus on December 1, 1955. We mark the 60th anniversary of this event by dedicating a seat on every Citilink fixed route bus in her honor.

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager 432-4977

USF Cougar Express – Downtown Shuttle

It's as easy as 1-2-3 & it's FREE!

The University of Saint Francis and Citilink have joined forces to offer an express route from the USF main campus on Spring Street into Downtown. The Cougar Express connects to housing, classrooms, and shopping/dining…all you have to do is get on board! The new service is FREE and available to EVERYONE!

  1. Catch the Cougar Express: this bus route runs every 30 minutes between USF campus locations – with seven express stops and at any safe intersection along the route. The service operates Monday-Friday from 7:00am – 5:00pm when USF is in session..
  2. Park & Ride: you may park your car along the route and ride the bus. Find a good parking space and keep it. Go from downtown to and from shopping, restaurants and housing – run an errand or go out to lunch!
  3. Purchase a discounted Citilink bus pass: USF joins Ivy Tech, Purdue University Fort Wayne and Indiana Tech in offering this program. Students/faculty/staff can purchase a Citilink 31 day bus pass from the school Business Office at a 10% discount (usually $45 only $40.50) and use all Citilink bus routes to take advantage of everything Fort Wayne has to offer. Citilink Route 9 connects with multiple USF campus locations, most Citilink routes and Greyhound bus service at the Citilink Central Station.

See the Citilink website http://www.fwcitilink.com/cougarexpress/index.php or call Customer Service at 432-4546 for route and schedule information.

The new Cougar Express is fast, FREE and easy. Enjoy the freedom to move without moving your car. Get on board the specially marked bus at designated locations and let us help you get where you want to go – wherever life takes you!

 

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Submitted 8/9/16
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager 432-4977

Ivy Tech Northeast announces one-year extension agreement with Citilink to continue free campusLink service

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast and Citilink have reached an agreement to extend campusLink shuttle service for the 2016-17 school year. The free service is available to students, faculty, staff, and the general public beginning Aug. 22.

In campusLink's seven years of service, it has provided 326,955 trips for riders, averaging 46,707 each academic year.

"The campusLink bus service is important to Ivy Tech Northeast, as we know many of our students rely on it for transportation between classes on our Coliseum and North campuses in Fort Wayne," says Ivy Tech Northeast Chancellor Jerrilee K. Mosier, Ed.D. "Our strong partnership with Citilink is now entering its eighth year and is aimed at creating a better student experience."

Times and route services will remain the same as the 2015-16 academic year, but it's always important for riders to schedule trips accordingly. Service will be during Ivy Tech Northeast's fall and spring semesters, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is no shuttle service on Saturdays, Sundays, Martin Luther King Day, Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, or Summer Break. Bus riders are able to plan their trip and track the real-time location of their bus using Citilink's RouteShout app or RouteWatch, available for download from the Citilink website at fwcitilink.com/RouteShout.

The route for the campusLink shuttle includes four scheduled stops with service every 20 minutes

  • In the roundabout on Ivy Tech Northeast's Coliseum Campus, in front of door 3.
  • Along Anthony Boulevard at Ivy Tech's Coliseum Campus west entrance, which is also a transfer point for standard Citilink service (Route 3).
  • At the corner of St. Joe Road and Dean Drive at Ivy Tech's North Campus main entrance, which is also a transfer point for standard Citilink service (Route 3).
  • At the south entrance of Harshman Hall on Ivy Tech Northeast's North Campus. There is a transfer point for standard Citilink service at the west entrance of Harshman Hall (Route 4).

As in the past, discount bus passes for Citilink's standard public transit service across Fort Wayne will be made available for purchase to Ivy Tech Northeast students and employees at the Ivy Tech Bursar in the Express Enrollment Center at the Student Life Center on the North Campus. The 31-day, unlimited trip pass runs $36, down from the regularly priced $45 pass.

Funding for the campusLink service is made possible through the joint agreement between Citilink and Ivy Tech Northeast.

For more detail on the service and route, visit fwcitilink.com/campuslink or call 260-432-4546. Ivy Tech Community College is the state's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system.

Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Submitted 8/1/16
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager 432-4977

Citilink Central Station offers one of five Zagster Bike Share stations

Citilink Central Station offers one of five Zagster Bike Share stations in Downtown Fort Wayne

Our Citilink Central Station offers one of five Zagster Bike Share stations in Downtown Fort Wayne! Unlike other programs in which riders must drop off bikes at designated stations for every stop, Zagster's programs give users the freedom to ride as long as they want, wherever they want. Find out more!

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Submitted 8/1/16
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager 432-4977

Riverfront Fort Wayne Art Bench Project Riverfront Fort Wayne Art Bench Project

10 Citilink bus stop benches have been transformed into the beautiful new Riverfront Fort Wayne Art Bench Project! View the full map and more.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Submitted 8/1/16
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager 432-4977

Southside SessionsSouthside Sessions

We hope you enjoyed the Micki White Quartet at Southside Sessions on the Citilink Circle stage at the Urban League! Enjoy music, food, and fun every Thursday until September 8!

Thanks to a grant from the Knight Foundation via the Community Foundation the Fort Wayne Urban League has partnered with the Allen County Pontiac Public Library to present: "SOUTH SIDE SESSIONS" which is a series of free weekly concerts that will take place Thursdays on the campus of the Urban League during the summer. Music, fun and community go together. The summer is upon us, and with it comes the perfect opportunity to make fun memories. What better way to bring the community together than with music? Everyone is invited to a peaceful evening of networking and socializing. Each session will be vibrant and engaging and will connect with a wide range of neighborhoods to make these events unique and memorable.

Concerts are held outdoors on the campus of the FWUL 2135 S. Hanna Street. The events will be held every Thursday evening from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Starting Thursday, July 28th. Local artist will showcase a range of styles such as soul, jazz, pop/rock, world music and blues music genre. Our first South Side Session will present world renowned R & B artist Ty Causey.

  • July 28th… Ty Causey
  • August 4th… Latrice Goree
  • August 11th… The Todd Harrold Band
  • August 18th… Jazz Viola/Violinist Derek Reeves
  • August 25th… G Money
  • Sept. 1st… Soul 35
  • Sept. 8th… Todd Harrold and Nick Bobay

Attendees should bring their own blanket or chair for an evening of music memories, and community interaction. Fort Wayne's best food trucks will be on hand to purchase refreshments. These events are free to the public free parking available in back of the FWUL building.

Please contact Jonathan C. Ray for more information 260-241-7697

 

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Submitted 3/21/16
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager 432-4977

The Big Bus Stuff is here again!

The Big Bus Stuff is a community effort, in its 12th year, to collect nonperishable food for Community Harvest Food Bank. This year's partners include Citilink, Komets, Ivy Tech Community College Northeast, and Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Collection barrels will be at those locations from March 21 to 26. Those who donate food or money will receive two free Komets tickets to a game on March 23, 25, or 26. To be entered into a drawing to win season tickets for the 2016-2017 season, valued at $1,400, participants can fill out the supplied scavenger hunt sheet and donate all items listed.

Citilink drop off locations are at our Central Station at Baker & Calhoun or our main office at 801 Leesburg. Download the scavenger hunt form and head over to the Community Harvest website where there is an easy link for e-pay donations: http://www.communityharvest.org

 

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Submitted 2/12/16
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager 432-4977

Driving Social Change

The 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks' historic moment of defiance in Montgomery, Alabama, when the seamstress famously refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger, coincides with another milestone in our local public transit history: Lewis Sims was hired in 1955 as the first African American bus driver in Fort Wayne.

In the 1950-60's trolley/motor bus service was provided by the Fort Wayne Transit company. It was then a private-for-profit business managed by a man named Don Walker. In order to qualify for federal transit subsidy the private company needed to integrate their workforce. Mr. Walker met Mr. Sims, who was working as a bartender for the Chamber of Commerce, and encouraged him to apply to be a bus driver. Sims remembers being apprehensive after he started but wasn't afraid. He recalls "Some drivers quit, some riders waited for the next bus or made negative remarks; however, Mr. Walker, some of the drivers and some passengers stood behind me and more followed along after". Sims joined the ranks of 580 drivers as a part-time Bus Operator at 84 cents/hour and 36 years later retired number one in seniority.

Retired Citilink drivers

Frost Illustrated ran a lengthy article about Mr. Sims in the April 4-10, 1990 issue upon his retirement. In it Sims recounted that his biggest satisfaction came from the knowledge that, as a pioneer, he helped other African Americans who came after him.

"I look at the roster and see the black employees. I feel I had something to do with that. I thought if I made it, the company would be encouraged to hire more black workers."

One of those to follow in his footsteps was John Thomas who began driving for Fort Wayne Transit (then known as PTC) in 1967, he was promoted to serve as the first African American Street Supervisor/Dispatcher and retired in 1994. Throughout his 27 years of service to Fort Wayne Transit he was sufficiently fulfilled to recommend it as a career to his son Richard Thomas who began as a driver in 1978 and he has served for 37 years, and counting. Slightly less than a year after starting his new job, Richard Thomas welcomed our third generation Thomas Family bus driver. Fort Wayne Transit (now known as Citilink) welcomed Richard Thomas, Jr. as a bus driver in 2003 and he was promoted to Street Supervisor/Dispatcher in 2006 – following in his Grandfather's footsteps.

Thomas Brothers

Richard, Jr. recalls;

"I would ride along with my Dad and Grandpa and hang around the bus company. Finally, I decided if I was going to spend so much time there I might as well get paid." He added. "Busses are in our blood, my Dad made buses out of old cereal boxes when he was a child and it was my childhood dream to be a bus driver".

A favored tagline for public transit resonates – Public Transit, Getting You There Wherever Life Takes You. On many levels public transit is movement for social change; whether you are riding the bus or driving it. It is access to jobs, and a good union job. It is mobility and economic stability. It is connectivity and empowerment. We are proud of every member of our Fort Wayne Citilink team and the valuable service they provide to help our community move in the right direction.

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 3, 2015
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, Citilink
260-432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Fort Wayne Citilink, Yesteryear

The Fort Wayne Downtown Improvement District Holiday Window Contest theme of "Yesteryear" provided us the opportunity to look through our collection of bus memorabilia for our window display. In addition to the 1950's photo of electric trolleys on Calhoun Street (looking Northeast from Washington Street), that became a painting by Terry Ratliff in 2002 and a window display by Paint the Town Graphics in 2015, we filled a display case for our employees to enjoy.

bus memorabilia for our window display

Public transportation in Fort Wayne has a long history, dating back to the Citizens Street Railroad Company's introduction of horse drawn railcar service on Calhoun Street in 1872. In 1900, the extensive Indiana Interurban Railway system connected Fort Wayne to Huntington and beyond.

In the 1950-60's trolley/motor bus service was provided by the Fort Wayne Transit Company. The administrative/maintenance facility on Leesburg was built in 1955 and Lewis Sims was hired; the first African American bus driver in Fort Wayne. Mr. Sims recalls "Some drivers quit, some riders waited for the next bus or made negative remarks but the General Manager, Donald Walker, some of the drivers and some passengers stood behind me and more followed along after". Mr. Sims joined the ranks of 580 drivers as a part-time Bus Operator at 84 cents/hour and 36 years later retired number one in seniority.

Ed Brager was hired as a Bus Mechanic Apprentice in 1968 when the system became the government owned Fort Wayne Public Transportation Corporation. He recalls working on the oldest bus in the fleet - built in 1947. He started while still in High School so he learned on the job, from the more seasoned mechanics, how to read the manuals and rebuild when there wasn't money to replace. Susan Walter remembers becoming a Bus Operator in 1979: "When I started as a driver, the buses were cold and drafty. There was no power steering and many thought a young girl wouldn't be strong enough to turn the big bus steering wheel around the corners, I showed them!" These days the buses, and maintenance tools, are cutting edge technology; quiet, warm and efficient, and the transit system now known as Citilink has a workforce that reflects the diversity of our community.

Many seniors in our community recall riding the city bus to school or work and taking trips downtown to shop and admire the decorated holiday windows; now lovingly preserved at the Embassy Theater. One of our passengers who uses a wheelchair recalls, as a child, the isolation of staying at home or having her brother pull her down the dirt roads in a wagon. Since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 25 years ago, all buses are lift/ramped equipped and door-to-door service is available as needed; providing access for all.

However you remember the past, 'walking to school uphill both ways barefoot in the snow' or 'awestruck by the magical scenes in downtown store windows', all can agree that it is best to focus on creating a bright future. Citilink has plans for expanded service (nights, weekends, frequency, and locations) to reduce pollution/congestion and provide access to employment/ services. There are visions of regional service that once again connect Northeast Indiana with the rest of the world; perhaps feeder bus routes for high-speed rail trains. Could public transit return to yesteryear ridership levels? Over 20 Million in 1950 compared to 2 Million now.

For a glimpse into the past come see our holiday window display at Citilink Central Station, 121 Baker Street. For a look to the future check out the Bus Fort Wayne Plan on our website fwcitilink.com.

Happy Holidays, from Fort Wayne Citilink/PTC/The Bus Company/etc.

bus memorabilia for our window display

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2015
Media Contact:
Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager, Citilink
260-432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Parkview Health Extends MEDLINK Contract

Parkview Health & Fort Wayne Citilink announce continued support for the MedLink bus route between Parkview Hospital Randallia and Parkview Regional Medical Center. A three year contract renewal provides for 100% of the cost of maintaining this route.

"The MedLink route provides an important service to the community, directly connecting patients, visitors and co-workers between the Parkview Regional Medical Center and Parkview Hospital Randallia campuses," said Ben Miles, president, Parkview Regional Medical Center & Affiliates. "Parkview's partnership with Citilink is important and the continuation of this service means a great deal to many riders. The MedLink route is another way we're proud to support the community by helping to provide services beyond the walls of our hospitals."

A frequent MedLink rider, Wesley Pollard, shares "It is a good way to go volunteer at the hospital and get to doctor appointments". Fort Wayne Citilink General Manager, Ken Housden stated "support from community funding partners, like Parkview Health, is the only way we can provide a vital service like MedLink; with stagnant tax revenue."

Ridership on the MedLink route continues to grow; with record setting levels in September. Use of the Citilink Flexlink route 21 and Access demand response service are also popular routes to obtain vital medical services available in the PRMC campus area.

Take the healthy route: Parkview MedLink operates Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm between Parkview Hospital Randallia and Parkview Regional Medical Center and connects with Citilink routes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 21. More information is available on the Citilink website fwcitilink.com or by calling 432-4546.

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2015
Media Contact:
Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager, Citilink
260-432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Citilink Points to Accessible Transportation Services On 25th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

Calls on Congress to Invest in Long-Term Funding for Fort Wayne's Public Transportation System

On the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) on July 26, Fort Wayne Citilink, in conjunction with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), commemorates the critical role public transportation plays in providing independence and opportunity for people with disabilities. The public transportation industry has improved and expanded accessibility of public transit services and facilities for persons with disabilities.
Since 1994, improvements that have made our Fort Wayne community more accessible include:

  • 100% of all busses and transit facilities are accessible
  • Citilink Access provides over 50,000 door-to-door trips each year to riders when they are unable to utilize fixed route service
  • Citilink provides over 20,000 free trips each year on fixed route buses to Access eligible riders when they are able to use fixed route to their destination
  • Over 4,000 fixed route trips are provided annually to passengers using wheelchair mobility devices

"On this 25th anniversary of ADA, let us not forget that public transit is a lifeline for hundreds of our residents, and especially those individuals with disabilities," said Betsy Kachmar, Citilink AGM. "Public transportation provides freedom, independence and access to jobs, our attractions or simply to visit family and friends. Future progress to expand and improve our system is dependent on action by Congress to fund a surface transportation bill. Funding uncertainty impacts the ability of Fort Wayne Citilink to provide vital mobility for people with disabilities."

Congress must act by July 31, 2015, to continue transportation funding. Citilink commends Senator Donnelly for co-sponsoring an amendment to strengthen funding for the "good state of repair" of public transit vehicles. We call upon Congress to find a dedicated funding solution and to pass a long-term sustainable bill that increases funding for public transportation. Failure to provide long-term investment will have a negative impact on Indiana's economy, jeopardize critical public transit projects, and limit options for people with disabilities.

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2015
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Citilink Board Chair Fred Lanahan was presented with a Indiana Citizens' Alliance for Transportation (ICAT) Transit Advocate of the Year Award during Transit Day at the Statehouse on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

Citilink Board Chair Fred Lanahan was presented with a Indiana Citizens' Alliance for Transportation (ICAT) Transit Advocate of the Year AwardIt would be hard to find someone more passionate about public transit and its importance to the Fort Wayne/New Haven area and the State of Indiana than Fred Lanahan. Fred has served on the Fort Wayne Public Transportation Corporation (Citilink) Board of Directors since 1993, acting as chair since 2006. He is a tireless advocate for public transit and strives to promote increased transit use and funding at the local, state and federal levels. During his tenure, he has initiated and participated in regular meetings with many local, state and federal officials; with a focus on increased funding. He is active with APTA, ITA, ICAT, and AARP. He has participated in every Transit Day at the Statehouse and was a speaker the first year. He attends local legislator meetings hosted by others and hosts Citilink bus rides and tours for public officials. He has written to legislators and the media to promote public transit and increased funding. His most recent submission regarding HB1215 can be seen here http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20150205/EDITORIAL/150209814/0/SEARCH.

Fred works to expand multi-modal transportation opportunities though his work on the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association (NIPRA); where he has served as chair since its formation in 2009. The focus of his advocacy and fund raising efforts with this group has been to re-establish passenger rail service though Fort Wayne via the Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus Passenger Rail Corridor. Fred also serves as the Governor's appointee to the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission and on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance.

Public transit in the Fort Wayne/New Haven area would not be as successful as it is today without Fred's leadership, ambition and perseverance to continue to grow the system and expand ridership. His work with NIPRA has resulted in uniting communities throughout northern Indiana and western Ohio to support and commit funding for the Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus rail corridor.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 30, 2015
Media Contact: Jen Schmits Thomas, 317.441.2487, jen@jtprinc.com

Campaign to increase Indiana's transit investment launches

INvest INtransit seeks to grow Public Mass Transportation Fund to $60 million

Demand for public transportation in Indiana has never been higher. Yet the state's Public Mass Transportation Fund (PMTF) has been flat, at $42.5 million, for seven years. For that reason, the Indiana Citizens' Alliance for Transit (ICAT) and partners are launching the INvest INtransit campaign.

ICAT supports a bi-partisan proposal by Indiana legislators, who agree that transit funds need to be increased in order to meet Hoosiers' demand and need for public transportation.

The PMTF is distributed among 65 public and nonprofit agencies that operate traditional fixed-route as well as on-demand service, where people schedule rides in advance. However, based on current funding, those agencies cannot meet increasing demand. They routinely have to turn down or reschedule requests, because they don't have the funds to expand their fleets or hire more drivers. At the same time, Indiana hospitals, hotels and other businesses are asking for expanded routes, longer hours and more frequent service.

Rep. Randy Truitt, R-Lafayette, has introduced a bill (HB 1215) that would boost the PMTF to $60 million. Representatives Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, David Ober, R-Albion, and David Niezgodski, D-South Bend are co-authors. Gov. Pence, on the other hand, has included a 3-percent cut for transit funding in his proposed state budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

"Transit funding is critical for the economic livelihood of businesses, communities and individuals throughout Indiana," said Kim Irwin, executive director of Health by Design, which convenes ICAT. "It simply doesn't make sense to flatline or reduce transit spending when the demand for service in Indiana continues to increase."

Study after study shows transit use is increasing. In Indiana, ridership was up 15 percent from 2004 to 2013, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation's 2013 Indiana Public Transit Annual Report. Nationally, in 2013, Americans took 10.7 billion transit trips, the highest total since the 1950s, when the nation shifted to a car-centric culture and the highway building boom took off.

Experts predict the demand for public transportation will continue to increase nationally as well as throughout Indiana, because of the aging population, Millennial's decreasing use of cars, concerns about health and the environment, the instability of fuel prices and more.
For more information, visit indianacat.org.

Please reference the Bus Fort Wayne plan for additional information.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2014
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Fort Wayne Citilink Central Station

The New York State Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) has awarded the Wendel Company an Engineering Excellence Gold Award, in the Transportation Category

The New York State Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) has awarded the Wendel Company an Engineering Excellence Gold Award, in the Transportation Category, for our Fort Wayne Citilink Central Station. Wendel served as the design firm for the project; the company is located in New York state. The ACEC awards are considered the "academy awards" of the engineering industry. The awards gala was held on March 29, 2014 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

Citilink Central Terminal Photo

Courtesy Photo Credit: Fort Wayne Citilink Central Station

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2014
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Citilink Installs Bicycle Repair Station

Just in time for "Bike to Work Day & Bike Month" Citilink has installed a bicycle repair station at the Citilink Central Station.

Citilink Bicycle Repair StationThe FIXIT, manufactured by the Dero Bike Rack Company, is a bike repair stand with an attached air pump and hand tools; including, screwdrivers, wrenches and a tire lever. The FIXIT station provides an opportunity for a cyclist to make minor repairs and adjustments on the road rather than having to carry tools or walk an ailing bicycle home.

"A key component of the City of Fort Wayne's Active Transportation Initiative and Bus Fort Wayne Plan is preparing for multi-modal mobility to better serve our community. Citilink consulted with Bike Fort Wayne team members and we all thought this would be a nice amenity for our new Central Station," said Betsy Kachmar, Citilink Assistant General Manager.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2012
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

BUS FORT WAYNE STUDY PREVIEW

The City of Fort Wayne's Active Transportation Initiative and Bus Fort Wayne Plan is preparing a roadmap for multi-modal mobility to better serve our community. A key component of this strategy has just been released.

The Bus Fort Wayne brochure demonstrates that transit funding is declining as ridership and demand increases. Further, the benefits of investing in mobility include access to jobs, education, medical & community services as well as environmental and public health benefits. Every dollar invested in public transit provides a three dollar return on investment.

This document has been prepared to serve as a catalyst for conversation regarding public transit infrastructure. The release coincides with the beginning of the state biennial budget process in an effort to provide talking points for mobility advocates and public officials as funding is discussed and decisions are made.