Chapter president says bus service is Navajo Nation's first

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FARMINGTON — An event on Monday will celebrate the first public bus service in Shiprock.

For the last two years, the Shiprock Chapter has been working with the Navajo Transit System and the Navajo Division of Transportation to implement the Shiprock Community Area Transit service.

Chapter President Duane "Chili" Yazzie said this is the first time bus service will be offered in a community on the Navajo Nation.

"It is historical and certainly needed. We don't want to see our community members having to walk, especially now with it's getting hot. It will provide a good service," Yazzie said.

Service will be provided by one 38-seat bus that will operate in the morning and afternoon, stopping at locations such as the Northern Navajo Medical Center, Diné College, the chapter house and housing located on the south side of town.

Details about fares, schedules and routes were not available as of Friday.

"We have a lot of people who don't have transportation that they can readily use to make appointments and to get from here to there," Yazzie said.

There will be an opening ceremony for the service at 10 a.m. Monday at the Shiprock Chapter house parking lot.

Comments from project team members will be made at the ceremony followed by free rides on the bus.

"The idea will be to take a cruise around town with whoever wants to take a ride, just to get the feel of the bus," Yazzie said.

Full service is scheduled to start Tuesday, he said.

The chapter has secured bus shelters and is working to install those at designated stops.

Officials also worked with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to secure clearance for travel and stops along roads maintained by the agency.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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