LATS Service extending hours

Lawton Area Transit System (LATS) buses are expanding the weekday hours of service for travelers in the Lawton-Ft. Sill area.  The current Monday through Friday service is offered Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. through 6 p.m.  But starting tomorrow, August first, the LATS buses will run till 7 p.m. for its riders' convenience. Regular Saturday hours remain the same, 9 a.m. till 9 p.m., with no service offered on Sundays.

LATS General Manager Steve Sherrer tells 7 News they have been busy as the system averages about 30-thousand to 31-thousand rides a month, counted each time a person boards a bus. Sherrer says that the Lawton City Council approved additional local share funding of $7542 dollars for the '07-08 fiscal year over last year.  That's in addition to the city's local share to match the federal and state grants. The additional funding not only covers the expenses for the additional hours of service but wages, maintenance, utilities, fuel and more.

Sherrer also notes, "The higher fuel costs are sort of a double-edged sword for us. They encourage more riders but at the same time, we buy a lot of fuel which is more expensive."

Tune in to 7 News @5 and again at 6 for more.