Burlington’s TIGER Grant Work Creates Free Transportation on Select Days
The Burlington City Department will extend hours of operation and reduce fares on major event days at Memorial Auditorium to account for lost parking due to construction.
During Monday’s business session, City Council expressed support for a resolution that should help boost traffic and draw people downtown for Civic Music concerts and other major events such as than SnowBull.
Per the resolution, public transit will be free March 10-12, when SnowBull is held in the auditorium, and March 24 and April 29 for civic music concerts.
Also on these dates, opening hours will be extended from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“These are changes based on what’s happening with the TIGER grant with the Memorial Auditorium parking lot and creating a sort of loop shuttle system for these event nights, and so we’re extending the hours of operation,” Nick MacGregor, Deputy City Manager of Public Works. , the council said.
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The loop route will go from Front Street to Washington Street, south on North Sixth Street, then west on Jefferson Street to North Eighth Street, which you will need to travel one block to Valley Street before looping back to the Harmony Bible Church building at 550 Division St., which will serve as SnowBull’s parking lot during this event, and back to Valley, which will take him back to Front Street near the west-facing gates of the auditorium.
MacGregor said BUS will not be able to bring passengers directly to the gates as ongoing construction work under the city’s transportation infrastructure grant project generates economic recovery along the river. would require the transit vehicle to back up 50 or 60 feet in order to return to the main street.
MacGregor pointed out that this will require an increased investment from the city in terms of labor hours and there will be no revenue generated from free rides, but it will improve ridership, which is used to calculate the amount of state and federal funding. the service receives.
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Burlington Mayor Jon Billups spoke favorably of the free rides and extended hours.
“I think it’s a great idea to just increase the numbers, and that helps everyone,” Billups said. “It helps downtown businesses, those that are open later, restaurants, bars. People could go and do that while waiting for the show to start.”
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MacGregor also informed the council that he was working with the Farmers and Merchants Bank and Trust to install a time-lapse camera atop his building to capture the progress of the TIGER grant project.
The City will waive rental fees for Transitions DMC
The board also indicated support for waiving 2022 rental fees for Transitions DMC, the homeless shelter at 515 S. Main St. that officially opened as an overnight shelter on Jan. 1.
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By city code, homeless shelters must obtain a rental permit from the city even if they don’t charge rent. The $350 rental fee has also traditionally been waived for the Burlington area homeless shelter.
Sara Ditner, director of Transitions DMC, told the council that the shelter averages 10.5 people per night. Its lowest nightly population was seven and its highest was 13.
Ditner said the shelter is already successful in helping people get back on their feet.
“We have quite a few personal successes for individual residents coming up,” Ditner said, explaining that some of his residents have partnered up to rent an apartment and others have started jobs since arriving at the shelter.
“It’s really encouraging,” said Ditner. “Clients work hard and achieve their goals.”
The Burlington Public Library offers an additional service
Rhonda Frevert, director of the Burlington Public Library, told the board that library cardholders can now access The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal at the library using their library cards.
The library also has Nintendo Switch games to check out, Councilman Robert Critser said before expressing his excitement for family nights and other events and services offered by the library.
“My kids love going there,” Critser said. “It’s like a treasure hunt every time we go.”
Michaele Niehaus covers business, development, environment and agriculture for The Hawk Eye. She can be reached at [email protected]