Reduced Bloomfield bus route up for discussion
FARMINGTON – The Bloomfield City Council is scheduled to discuss and possibly vote on a proposal to reinstate its recently canceled Red Apple Transit bus service during its meeting Monday evening.
The city of Bloomfield canceled its contract with the city of Farmington to subsidize bus service for its route between the cities.
The route that transported passengers three times a day between Bloomfield and Farmington Monday through Saturday ended on Oct. 1.
In a statement on Bloomfield’s Facebook page posted on Sept. 19, the city announced the change was due to a decline in tax revenue, and it was one of several budget cuts required to balance the city’s budget.
During the Sept. 26 council meeting, councilors discussed looking at possibilities for a reduced transit route that would cost less than the nearly $12,000 annual cost of the old contract, Councilor DeLaws Lindsay said.
A number of Bloomfield residents spoke up during the citizen comment portion of the meeting about the cancellation of the route, stating the service is important to them.
“We certainly told them we would look at every possibility we could,” Lindsay said.
In a report by Farmington Transit Administrator Andrew Montoya, two additional options were prepared for the councilors to discuss.
The two options reduce the service runs from three to two, with service in the morning and evening. The midday run would be canceled.
One option costs about $8,000 for two runs Monday through Saturday. The other option is Monday through Friday at a cost of about $7,000.
Lindsay and Councilor Curtis Lynch hope to approve a reduced contract, but they said the difficulty would be finding another part of the city’s budget where money can be saved.
According to Lindsay, Bloomfield is facing the possibility of laying off city employees, which could make it difficult to pursue the subsidy for the bus route.
“I would fight for the jobs more than the transit subsidy,” Lindsay said.
Lynch said councilors have a lot of talking to do regarding the budget, but he plans to try and find a way to come up with the transit funding.
“We would like to do it. I don’t know if we can (though),” Lynch said.
The council will meet at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at Bloomfield City Hall at 915 N. First St.
Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.