Old YMCA building may get new life
An update on changes made to Lawton's mass transit routes and a proposal that would allow the city to buy the former Armed Services YMCA building will top the agenda when the City Council meets today.
The meeting, which will include a session of the City Transit Trust, will begin at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of Lawton City Hall, Southwest 9th Street and C Avenue. The meeting is the same night as the Ward 8 runoff election that will determine the representative who will represent the ward on the council beginning in January.
It is in their capacity as the City Transit Trust that council members will receive an update on LATS route changes. Members asked LATS managers to provide the report after they signed off on a plan that imposed substantial changes in Saturday service and the service provided to Fort Sill, beginning July 17. LATS sought the changes as a way to preserve its aging fleet while controlling maintenance costs, by focusing on the system's least-used times and routes.
Those changes cut two hours of operation from Saturday service, ending fixed routes at 6 p.m., while limiting the Red, Green, Blue and Orange routes to one bus each on Saturdays. In addition, the Orange route was adjusted so that it no longer serves Fort Sill, while a shuttle service providing rides to those who call for it was developed to provide access to post.
The net result was a decrease in ridership and revenues, but also a substantial decrease in maintenance costs (the system spent almost $50,000 on maintenance in the 90 days before the changes and $17,000 in the 90 days afterward). LATS also had to add drivers to meet the demand of the Fort Sill shuttle service, which has proven more popular than anticipated, officials said.