SOUTH BEND ? Planners and government officials know a stronger public transportation network is important to the region’s growth and livability. 

To that end, public transportation provider Transpo and the Michiana Area Council of Governments were invited by South Bend and St. Joseph County officials to discuss their plans to reorganize bus routes in the next year and to look ahead on how public transit can better serve the needs of the community in the future.

Aiming to improve:Michiana transit weighs conflicting goals of ride frequency, geographical coverage

The meeting was Saturday morning at the St. Joseph County Public Library.

“The goal is to provide better, more frequent service,” said Zach Dripps, deputy director of MACOG, of the public transit plans. “There are people without cars who need better access to jobs as well as necessities, such as hospitals and grocery stores.”

The first plan that is being considered by Transpo and MACOG would improve service efficiency within current budget parameters, but a longer-range plan, which would put much of St. Joseph and Elkhart counties within an hour trip via public transit, would cost millions more to implement, Dripps said.

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