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City holding meetings on transit expansion

RAPID CITY –– The Rapid City Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will host two public open houses to obtain input for the MPO’s Transit Feasibility Study.

The open houses will be held Wednesday, July 12, from 5-7 p.m. in the Pennington County Community Room at Western Dakota Technical Institute and Thursday, July 13, from 5-7 p.m. in the Ramada Banquet Hall at Summerset.

The Rapid City MPO is evaluating the feasibility of expanded transit service in the region. The study was initiated in March and is expected to be completed later this year.

“Residents expressed support for expanded transit service during the public participation activities held with the RapidTrip 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan update in 2014. This study will build upon those efforts and determine whether transit expansion is feasible, and if so what type of expansion will meet the needs of the region,” said Kip Harrington, Long Range Planner in the City’s Community Planning and Development Services Department.

Harrington says the study involves a collaborative public engagement strategy involving residents in the region, stakeholders and elected officials and includes state and federal agency oversight. The study will evaluate existing and future needs, consider alternatives to meet identified needs and assess funding gaps and opportunities. The study will guide any future transit investment in the region.

The City of Rapid City is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and oversees transportation planning for the Rapid City Area MPO. The planning area encompasses a little more than 413 square miles and extends from Elk Creek in Meade County south to Spring Creek in Pennington County and from Hisega west of Rapid City to Caputa east of Rapid City. Transportation planning has played an important role in the overall growth of the metropolitan area, through the development of roads and highways for the safe and efficient movement of all modes of transportation. This includes vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, transit, truck routes and the railroad.

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