The cancellation of Lake Havasu City’s contract for shuttle voucher service leaves officials with limited options in replacing the public transit program.

Operations Director Gary Parsons said the end of the shuttle voucher program, which replaced Havasu Area Transit after state funding was pulled, may be the end of public transit in Havasu for the time being unless city staff and the City Council can figure how to drum up a solution with city funds.

“We don’t have a whole lot of options,” Parsons said Monday. “Most likely there will be no program or the city can step in and operate its own program.”

Parsons said he hopes to receive direction from the City Council Tuesday before meeting with the Lake Havasu City Interagency Council, the partnering agency that qualified low-income riders for discounted vouchers to use the service.

Parsons said if the city does decide to create a service from its own funds, it will be “very limited.”

“We’re definitely not fat with money,” said Parsons about the city’s operations budget. “We’ll put together something or nothing.”

The decision will affect the 35 to 40 riders who use the curb-to-curb service to travel to necessary destinations including work, medical appointments and grocery shopping.

Parsons said he hopes there will be something for the people of this community, but he admits Havasu isn’t an easy place to conduct a public transit service given its low density and population spread out between four distinct housing districts.

“I’ve always been a strong advocate for the community,” Parsons said. “We need public support, we need ridership. Lake Havasu City is a very costly place to operate public transit…There’s no core to town. People are all over the place. It’s definitely a challenge.”

The shuttle voucher program will officially stop service May 15. Harlan Stilwell, the owner of The Shuttle, said he cancelled the contract because the revenue was not covering the cost.

The service was offered to all residents but only qualified low-income riders received vouchers.

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(7) comments

Real Havasuvian

Tom Garvin is right, the "Wayfinding" idea is just nuts, and should be funded by private funds. If it's really worthwhile it will be funded, and if it's a ridiculous boondoggle it won't. But at least we the taxpayers won't be paying.

Just cut that thing off, completely. Waste of money.

Real Havasuvian

There is so little need for a public transit system in Havasu. I feel for the 30 or 40 that were using it, but we can't run a system that is losing money.

Those same people can probably call a private shuttle service of which there are many, and just get a ride for $5. It's no big deal, and the taxpayers are not needed to subsidize it. We just can no longer afford it.

That the HAT system failed is no surprise, this town has all crooked streets, you can't do fixed route buses here. You would not be that helpful for anyone to use, what are you going to do, walk a mile uphill to a bus stop and wait an hour in the sun? You could die out there, and the ones who need that probably cannot walk like that anyway.

WATCHING HAVASU DIE

Isn't this just like our City Leaders,,, Throw a bunch of out money at the problem instead of managing it to work with the allotted money,,, Geez people its a van and a driver, Im sure there is plenty of people that would drive for free,,, I bet the city has a few vans already,,,, We are talking 35-40 people,,,

tomgarven

There is no doubt that many residents of Lake Havasu City dislike the CVB Wayfinding project. Every time a story is published in the News-Herald having anything to do with transportation, someone offers up negative comments yet we keep moving forward with something the residents in large numbers seems to be against. And even when the subject was brought before our city council there wasn't what I would consider to be a generous helping of support from the business community.

My personal view is that if the "business community" believes Wayfinding is such a good idea then the business community should be funding a significant portion of the projects cost. But to my knowledge the business community is NOT proving a majority of the Wayfinding costs. Also to use public funding to support the business community when there seems to be so many other pressing needs in the community seems well - misguided.

I like living in a community with thriving businesses that provides jobs and shopping convenience. I deliberately try to spend every dollar I can in our community. But to this day; no one has provided evidence that Wayfinding is going to be worth the $600 K of public funding we are planning to spend.

It is my belief that the Wayfinding project should be scaled back to some number the "business community" is willing to support on a trial basis. If after a reasonable trial period and analysis of the results, then a phased in approach over time with cost benefit analysis done at each step seems like a more logical approach. It is also my belief that we have many local resources that are fully capable of completing the Wayfinding mission.

mike floyd

hat was doomed because it was too grandoise. that happens when administrators are given public money. five routes continuously circling the city?i was recently in munich; parking there is dearly priced or non-existent. vehicles are banned in some areas. a half-mile hike to a tram stop is the norm; more affluent neighborhoods have no service.tram seats are full, many stand. it works.

hvnfun3

But not to worry, the money was spent on the parking lot off of Mesquite that is always empty. You tax dollars at work

shutthefrontdoor

Easy solution! 1. Use Traub's "R/UDAT plan on steroids", you know, the “Vision 20/20” plan, the one that is going to win us 3 million dollars, which includes, improved city services, transportation, and response to community needs. 2. In the interim, need some operating funds?, make a transfer , simply empty the Wastefinding Project account and finally meet some real needs of the residents of this city. When that super-duper “Vision 20/20” community plan wins the big bucks, return the funds to the Wastefinding Project account back[beam]

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