Changes in store for LATS bus routes

Changes in store for LATS bus routes

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - The Lawton Area Transit System announced changes to its orange bus route and Saturday hours.

Starting July 17, the Orange Route will now run once an hour and will no longer go on post. If a rider wants to go to Fort Sill, they'll have to call and schedule their trip at least two hours prior.

And on Saturdays, LATS will stop the buses at 6 p.m. instead of 9 p.m., and each route will only have one bus.

The changes were approved at the City Transit Trust Special Meeting.

Jerry Ellis, a retiree who uses LATS often, was disappointed when he learned about the changes.

"I go to Fort Sill a lot and so that will affect me negatively but as long as there's some way to get to Fort Sill I could live with it," Ellis said.

LATS General Manager Ryan Landers said some of the buses their buses are past their useful life and suffering from wear and tear, which is forcing the changes.

He said that while some people will be affected by the new schedule, they're trying to make it as painless as possible by choosing their slowest days.

"There's just not a whole lot of people needing the service because of work or whatever and so it made that decision to cut Saturday service a little easier to do," he said. "It's never an easy thing to cut service but that was one of our lower ridership days."

Ellis said he's not sure what caused the changes but he wishes it would stay the same.

"Whether it's maintenance or budget or whatever it is. It's frustrating because that's been that way for a long time and you kinda get used to that," he said.

Landers said the changes are temporary but they'll reevaluate them once their fleet is up to full service again.

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