The city buses in Sedalia have gotten a bright face-lift thanks to a new partnership between Guesa USA and the Community Transportation Partnership.
Jorge Guevara, of Guesa USA, made the announcement Friday afternoon at the Katy Depot to a room full of community members. The two city buses have new wraps from Impact Signs that depict sponsors Dairy Queen and Steak ‘n Shake, but Guevara also announced the creation of city bus shelters throughout the city over the next five years.
Guesa USA and Sedalia Bus Shelters LLC will be investing $75,000 to acquire and develop three to four bus shelters a year across the city. City funds will not be used for the project, as it will be fully funded by Guesa. Advertising spots will also be sold on the glass panels of the shelters to help with expenses.
“The bus shelters will consist of a four-by-eight solid metal structure with a bench, a trash can, a locking bike rack and a solar panel with a dusk-to-dawn light to ensure the safety of all riders while waiting on their bus,” Guevara said.
He said the locations of the first few shelters have not been determined, but the first will be located near Steak ‘n Shake and Kohl’s.
In addition to sponsoring the buses, bus riders who purchase a prepaid bus ride card — with $5/four rides and $10/eight ride options — will receive a coupon to the sponsoring businesses, such as a free shake from Steak ‘n Shake or a free Blizzard from Dairy Queen. The cards can be purchased from the bus drivers.
“This prepaid card is to promote ridership among our community, and upon using all the rides from the prepaid card, the card holder will be able to redeem a special product from one of our sponsor advertising partners,” Guevara said. “We are hoping that with this project we can significantly increase the ridership and we can encourage our community to utilize this very dependable, public and affordable form of transportation.”
Several in the audience, including bus drivers, commented on the importance of providing public transportation for those who have no other options when it comes to traveling around the city. Guevara said that was a large part of what inspired him to get his company involved in the project.
“We have people who could not be employed without the public transportation system, so it’s allowing them the opportunity not only to live independently but also to work and earn a paycheck as well,” said Mark Register, of the Center for Human Services.
While the city bus system will be seeing some upgrades, there are no plans to alter current bus routes.
The Sedalia City Bus runs 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and does not run Sunday. Fare is $1.50 or riders can purchase a prepaid card.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1482 or @NicoleRCooke.