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Informative.

That's my Citilink.

News, Events & Media Releases

Download this media releaseFor Immediate Release: November 1, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Citilink 2030 Transit Development Plan Public Input Meetings

Citilink would like to invite all citizens to attend a second round of information meetings on the 10-Year Transit Development Plan. The purpose of this plan is to identify improvements for Citilink fixed route and paratransit service to be implemented over the next ten years.

The purpose of this round of meetings is to:

  • Gather input from citizens regarding their views of Citilink's current service.
  • Present information from the consultant's review of the transit system.
  • Discuss ideas for future service.

Meetings will be held at the following times and locations:

November 13, 2018
Citilink Central Station
121 West Baker Street
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

November 13, 2018
Turnstone Athletic Center
3320 North Clinton Street
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

November 14, 2018
Citilink Central Station
121 West Baker Street
8:00 AM to 10:00 AM

In addition to the public meetings, you can also review Transit Development Plan materials here.

With advance notice Citilink can make accommodations for persons with disabilities and persons requiring auxiliary aids for the hearing and visually impaired. In addition, accommodations for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) persons such as language translation services/interpreters can be made, with advance notice.

Please contact Betsy Kachmar at (260) 432-4977 by Thursday, November 8, 2018 should accommodations be needed.

Download this media releaseFor Immediate Release: October 16, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

FREE RIDE ON ELECTION DAY

Citilink will operate fare free on November 6, 2018 to help make sure that everyone has a ride to go vote. The AWS Foundation has provided funding to pay your way on Election Day.

To vote in the upcoming election you must:

  1. Have registered to vote prior to the October 9th deadline.
  2. Remember to take your Indiana Driver's License or Identification Card.
  3. Know where to go. Please note that many election polling locations have changed, voters should have received a postcard with their voting site assignment. If you do not know where to vote you can check using Indianavoters.in.gov. Early voting is available at various sites through Noon, November 5rd. Visit Allen County Election Board or call 449-7329 for more information. You may also find valuable information from the League of Women Voters website Vote411.org or Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana Voter Guide.
  4. Get there & do it! See the list of election voting sites and the bus routes that serve each location by following this link on the Citilink website: Citilink Routes to Vote. All Citilink buses are fully accessible and the Citilink ACCESS service can provide curb to curb service to polling locations for those who are certified to use this service.

All routes & Citilink ACCESS will operate regular weekday service for FREE from 5:30am – 9:30pm. Not sure where or when to catch the bus? Use the Trip Planner on the Citilink Website, Try out our RouteWatch map or RouteShout app (free for Apple or Android) for real time bus information or Call Citilink Customer Service 432-4546 for information and schedules.

Citilink – Your Election Connection!

For Immediate Release: August 27, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

USF Cougar Express – Downtown Shuttle returns Monday, August 27th

It's as easy as 1-2-3 & it's FREE!

The University of Saint Francis and Citilink have joined forces to offer an express route from the USF main campus on Spring Street into Downtown. The Cougar Express connects to housing, classrooms, and shopping/dining…all you have to do is get on board! The FREE service resumes on Monday, August 27th and is available to EVERYONE!

  1. Catch the Cougar Express: this bus route runs every 30 minutes during the school year between USF campus locations – with seven express stops and will pick up/drop off at any safe intersection along the route. The service operates Monday-Friday from 7:00am – 5:00pm. Use the Route Watch map or RouteShout app to know where your bus is.
  2. Park & Ride: you may park your car along the route and ride the bus. Find a good/free parking space and keep it. Go from downtown to and from shopping, restaurants and housing – run an errand or go out to lunch!
  3. Purchase a discounted Citilink bus pass: USF joins Ivy Tech, PFW and Indiana Tech in offering this program. Students/faculty/staff can purchase a Citilink 31 day bus pass from the school Business Office at a 10% discount (usually $45 – save $66/year) and use all Citilink bus routes to take advantage of everything Fort Wayne has to offer. Citilink Route 9 connects with multiple USF campus locations, most Citilink routes and Greyhound bus service at the Citilink Central Station.

See the Citilink link http://www.fwcitilink.com/cougarexpress/index.php or call Customer Service at 432-4546 for route and schedule information.

The Cougar Express is fast, FREE and easy. Enjoy the freedom to move without moving your car. Get on board and let us help you get where you want to go – wherever life takes you!

Download this media releaseFor Immediate Release: August 10, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Try Transit to School

Fort Wayne Citilink reminds students & parents that our buses provide service to most Fort Wayne & New Haven public & private schools. Check out the FWCS-Citilink Transportation Connection Guide for Citilink routes that serve Fort Wayne Community schools.

Visit our website fwcitilink.com to use our Trip Planner to find the best route from your home to your school. Have a smart phone? Try our NEW Token Transit mobile bus pass and download Route Watch/Route Shout for real time bus information while you wait at your bus stop. Plan your trip, purchase your pass and track your bus!

Youth ages 5-18 ride for Citilink half price ($1.50/day or $22/month). Day passes can be purchased on the bus and bus passes are also available for purchase from most Kroger stores, City Utilities at Citizen's Square, the Citilink administrative office (801 Leesburg Road), or on-line from the Citilink website store.

Need a ride to school? Give us a call, our Customer Service Representatives will be glad to help you plan your trip: (260) 432-4546.

Citilink Your Education Connection

Download this media releaseFor Immediate Release: April 26, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Citilink Youth Summer Fun Pass

Best deal in town! Unlimited rides all summer long for only 30 cents/day. Let Citilink help get your kids to their summer programs & jobs.

Youth Summer Fun Pass (Ages 5-18)

$25.00 for May 21 – August 11

Starting May 21, 2018 passes will be available at most Kroger stores, the Citilink administrative office, or on-line from the Citilink website pass store.

Pre-order your Summer Fun passes by contacting Tricia Lilly at 432-4546 and they will be mailed to you prior to May 21st.

Dump the Pump – Save some Green – Ride the Blue

Download this media releaseFor Immediate Release: April 15, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Citilink 2030 Transit Development Plan

Every five to ten years, Citilink completes a process of updating the Transit Development Plan (TDP). The purpose of the plan is to assess the state of the current system, review where future development is expected to occur, and identify service changes to enhance the choices people have in getting to/from work, school, shopping, medical appointments or simply visiting family and friends.

Learn more about the Transit Development Plan and be sure to check back for TDP updates.

For Immediate Release: April 5, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Fort Wayne Citilink Receives $2.5 Million Discretionary Grant Award

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced approximately $264 million in project selections to improve the safety and reliability of America's bus systems and enhance mobility. Demand for Bus and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program discretionary grants far exceed available funds, FTA received applications for 453 eligible projects totaling over $2 billion in funding from 53 States and territories.

Fort Wayne Citilink is fortunate to receive one of these coveted grants, for the full amount requested. The grant provides an 80% federal share for the following projects:

  • Four (4) 40 foot ultra-low Sulphur bio-diesel hybrid buses (many bus parts manufactured in Indiana)
  • On-board bus security camera system upgrade
  • Bus mechanic workforce development training (including coursework from Ivy Tech Northeast Diesel Technology Program)

"These funds will not only help us get people to their jobs safely in new buses with state of the art security systems, they will help support Indiana jobs related to bus manufacturing, and also facilitate training for our mechanics using local resources" said acting Citilink General Manager Betsy Kachmar.

For more information about the FTA Bus and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program please follow the following links:

FTA award announcement website

FTA award announcement video

For Immediate Release: Friday, January 5, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, Asst. GM
260-432-4977 bek@fwcitilink.com

Fort Wayne Citilink celebrates 50 years of service!

Fort Wayne Citilink celebrates 50 years of service and has asked our community partners to share how important public transit is to them and those they serve. This segment features Jerrilee Mosier, Chancellor at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast.

Citilink and Ivy Tech Community College Northeast bring you an easy way to get around campus – campusLink. Find out more in the new video below:

For Immediate Release: October 17, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, Asst. GM
260-432-4977 bek@fwcitilink.com

Citilink manager presented award for Women's Economic Empowerment

YWCA of Northeast Indiana presented Claudia Harris-Stevenson with a Domestic Violence Awareness Month Hope Award on Tuesday. Harris-Stevenson is the operations manager at Citilink. Betsy Kachmar, the assistant general manager of Citilink, nominated Harris-Stevenson for the award. Kachmar said "public transit is a pathway to the economic independence that helps women get out of domestic violence situations".

"Claudia, as Operations Manager, is the oil that keeps Citilink service running smoothly. We at Citilink rely on Claudia for our success almost as much as our riders rely on Citilink for their success," said Kachmar.

YWCA of Northeast Indiana recognizes those who exhibit excellence in advocacy that reflects their mission every year during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Their mission is eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. A winner is selected in each of five categories including racial justice, domestic violence prevention and intervention, women's economic empowerment, child advocacy, and a Junior Hope Award.

Download this media releaseFor Immediate Release: August 10, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, Asst. GM
260-432-4977 bek@fwcitilink.com

Try Transit to School

Fort Wayne Citilink reminds students & parents that our buses provide service to most Fort Wayne & New Haven public & private schools. Check out the FWCS-Citilink Transportation Connection Guide on our website for Citilink routes that serve Fort Wayne Community schools.

Visit our website fwcitilink.com to use our Trip Planner to find the best route from your home to your school. Have a smart phone? Try our NEW Token Transit mobile bus pass and download Route Watch/Route Shout for real time bus information while you wait at your bus stop. Plan your trip, purchase your pass and track your bus!

Youth ages 5-18 ride for Citilink half price ($1.50/day or $22/month). Day passes can be purchased on the bus and bus passes are also available for purchase from most Kroger stores, City Utilities at Citizen's Square, the Citilink administrative office (801 Leesburg Road), or on-line from the Citilink website fwcitilink.com.

Need a ride to school? Give us a call, our Customer Service Representatives will be glad to help you plan your trip: (260) 432-4546.

Citilink Your Education Connection

Letter to the Editor/Opinion
Article By Ethan Cameron
For National Public Transportation Career Day - 5/18/17

Why I'm Considering a Career in Public Transport

I have long had a strong interest in cities and what makes them vibrant and enjoyable places to live, however this interest took quite a while to develop. Like many younger kids, I had a wooden train set growing up. This was easily one of my favourite toys to play with. Little did I know that this interest in trains would develop into a serious career interest over the next ten to fifteen years.

One of my first really impactful experiences with cities and public transport was a family trip to Washington, D.C. In short, I found the vibrant city life and the Metro to be incredibly inspiring. Additional trips to major cities showed me just what life could be like if a city had a robust transport system along with walkable development. Rather than living life trapped in a car, one could get around and really take in the environment around them. As I entered high school my passion to live a car-free life, as well as my interest in urban and transport planning, persisted.

In 2013, during the Spring Holiday, I went to a public meeting for the Northeast Indiana Regional Coordinating Council (NIRCC) where they were seeking public comment on the 2035 Transportation Plan. While scanning the posters for the plans, I happened to start talking with Betsy Kachmar, the Assistant General Manager for Citilink, about the state of public transport in Fort Wayne. This discussion culminated in an offer for an internship during the summer.

During my multi-summer internship, I helped out with a whole range of tasks that helped give me an idea what working in the public transport field may be like. These jobs ranged from conducting on-board passenger surveys, analysing route performance, helping make the RouteShout real-time information system functional by inputting timetable data, and other jobs. As I did not yet have a driving license when I first started, I always commuted by bus as well. Thus, I saw almost all components of what makes Citilink function. Not only was the internship itself very rewarding, but I met many wonderful passengers and drivers along the way.

Ethan CameronI am now finishing my first year studying urban planning at Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. While I am not sure exactly where I will end up or what I will be doing, as urban planning is a very broad field, working in transport planning ranks very high on my list. Not least because of my experience working at Citilink, but also because I would like to help make public transport more widely available and more accessible. Whether you drive, bike, walk, or take the bus, public transport impacts us all, which is why it is a truly valuable asset.

Download this media releaseFor Immediate Release: March 7, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, AGM, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Public Transportation Riders Power our Economy

In Fort Wayne, and across the United States, public transportation riders are an integral part of the engine that powers the economy, according to a new demographic study from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). The study Who Rides Public Transportation reveals that 87% of trips on public transportation bring employees to their workplace or consumers to businesses. Almost 90% of transit passengers are in the most economically active years of their life – ages 20 to 64, the study shows.

"Public transportation drives our economy forward," said Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager. "Not only do we employ 120 people and contribute by purchasing local products to keep our system moving, we connect Fort Wayne's employees to their workplace. Our community should not ignore the instrumental role that public transportation plays in moving our community to the next level."

The National Facts:

Sixty-three percent of public transit riders use it at least five days a week; 13 percent every day. Commuting is the primary trip purpose for many users, however, many also use public transit for shopping, dining and other activities that grow the economy.

Other important public transit rider demographics highlighted in the study include:

  • More than 51% of public transit riders hold a Bachelor's degree or higher level of education.
  • The top level of the income spectrum, $100,000/year or above, of a household that uses public transit is very similar (21%) to the percent of all U.S. households (23%) in this top income level.
  • The majority of public transit users are women (55%).
  • Public transit users are multi-modal; 65% have a driver's license.
  • More than two-thirds of public transit users walk to their stop; thus classifying public transit as a healthy, "active transportation" option.
  • Nationally, in urban areas with a population between 200,000 and 999,999, 48% of transit users are employed and 24% are students. This means 72% of transit riders are working or preparing for a career. In Fort Wayne, rider surveys conducted in 2011 indicated over half of Citilink riders were going to/from work or school. Other trips include shopping, recreation, medical, etc.

As we travel on the Road to 1 Million residents in Northeast Indiana, investment in public transit infrastructure will be a key to maintaining a healthy economy, reducing the negative impacts of density (congestion, pollution, parking, land use issues, etc.) and getting people where the need to go where ever life takes them.

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 22, 2016
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager 432-4977

Citilink Installs Special Seats Honoring Rosa Parks

Fort Wayne Citilink is marking the 60th anniversary of an event that put public transportation at the center of America's struggle for civil rights.

Rosa Parks earned her reputation as the mother of the civil rights movement by refusing to surrender her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama on December 1, 1955. That sparked a national movement that eventually brought an end to legal segregation.

Citilink is recognizing that moment in history by installing a yellow "Rosa Parks" permanent seat on 31 Fort Wayne Citilink fixed-route buses in her honor.

This project was suggested by Citilink board member Glynn Hines after learning of a similar tribute by another transit system.

"Rosa Parks' quiet strength helped make a seat available for everyone," Hines said. "Freedom and justice for all' is not just a phrase - it is a journey. It is important to recognize how far we have come and how far we have yet to travel."

Participants in an event revealing the tribute to Mrs. Parks include: Fort Wayne Urban League President Jonathan Ray, Fort Wayne NAACP President Larry Gist, Fort Wayne Citilink Board Member & City Councilman Glynn Hines, Lewis Sims-Fort Wayne's first African American public transit bus driver (hired in 1955), three generations of African American Citilink bus drivers (John Thomas, Richard Thomas Sr. & Richard Thomas Jr.), and Citilink board members and staff.

Mrs. Park's act of defiance encouraged over 50,000 riders to participate in a 381-day boycott of a private bus company, Montgomery City Lines, and ignited a national movement that ended legal segregation on buses (and the bus boycott) when the Supreme Court declared the practice unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. The bus she rode on that fateful day is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan.

Throughout her lifetime Rosa Parks was active with the NAACP, Montgomery Improvement Association (led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), Voter's League, Planned Parenthood, and served on the staff of Michigan Congressman John Conyers. She received the World Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, and more than 43 honorary doctorate degrees. She co-created two charitable foundations: The Rosa L. Parks College Scholarship Foundation and the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development; which operates Pathways to Freedom educational bus tours for youth. She also co-authored four books Rosa Parks: My Story, Quiet Strength, Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialogue with Today's Youth, and I AM ROSA PARKS. The Rosa Parks Museum is located at Troy University in Montgomery, Alabama.

Mrs. Parks, a resident of Detroit, Michigan for nearly 50 years, was born on February 4, 1913 and died at the age of 92 on October 24, 2005. In mourning, the cities of Montgomery and Detroit reserved the front seats of their buses with black ribbons. Her casket was transported, by a bus similar to the one in which she made her protest, to lay in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol; the first woman and second African American to be honored in this way. A quiet example of courage, dignity, and determination; Rosa Parks stated, "I am leaving this legacy to all of you to bring peace, justice, equality, love and fulfillment of what our lives should be. Without vision, the people will perish, and without courage and inspiration, dreams will die – the dream of freedom and peace."

We gather today to honor this one woman's dream of freedom and peace, represented by this token of appreciation. However, this seat also serves as a reminder and a challenge for us to take her place and repeat her message as we continue to chase the dream.

Condra Ridley as Rosa Parks – Local librarian Ms. Ridley has portrayed the history of Ms. Parks with numerous presentations.

Hines & Sims - Citilink Board Member & City Councilman Glynn Hines shaking hands with Fort Wayne's first African-American bus driver Louis Sims. In the background are Citilink Board Members Sherese Fortriede & Fred Lanahan.

Download this media releaseNovember 16, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: Betsy Kachmar, 410-4991, bek@fwcitilink.com

MEDIA EVENT

Who: Fort Wayne Citilink and Urban League
What: Rosa Parks Commemorative Transit Bus Seat Dedication
When: Tuesday, November 22nd, 10:00am
Where: Fort Wayne Urban League, 2135 South Hanna Street

Rosa Parks Seat Media Event Citilink

Rosa Parks became known as the mother of the civil rights movement after she refused to surrender her seat to a white man on a Montgomery Alabama bus on December 1, 1955. We mark the 60th anniversary of this event by dedicating a seat on every Citilink fixed route bus in her honor.

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager 432-4977

USF Cougar Express – Downtown Shuttle

It's as easy as 1-2-3 & it's FREE!

The University of Saint Francis and Citilink have joined forces to offer an express route from the USF main campus on Spring Street into Downtown. The Cougar Express connects to housing, classrooms, and shopping/dining…all you have to do is get on board! The new service is FREE and available to EVERYONE!

  1. Catch the Cougar Express: this bus route runs every 30 minutes between USF campus locations – with seven express stops and at any safe intersection along the route. The service operates Monday-Friday from 7:00am – 5:00pm when USF is in session..
  2. Park & Ride: you may park your car along the route and ride the bus. Find a good parking space and keep it. Go from downtown to and from shopping, restaurants and housing – run an errand or go out to lunch!
  3. Purchase a discounted Citilink bus pass: USF joins Ivy Tech, Purdue University Fort Wayne and Indiana Tech in offering this program. Students/faculty/staff can purchase a Citilink 31 day bus pass from the school Business Office at a 10% discount (usually $45 only $40.50) and use all Citilink bus routes to take advantage of everything Fort Wayne has to offer. Citilink Route 9 connects with multiple USF campus locations, most Citilink routes and Greyhound bus service at the Citilink Central Station.

See the Citilink website http://www.fwcitilink.com/cougarexpress/index.php or call Customer Service at 432-4546 for route and schedule information.

The new Cougar Express is fast, FREE and easy. Enjoy the freedom to move without moving your car. Get on board the specially marked bus at designated locations and let us help you get where you want to go – wherever life takes you!

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Submitted 8/1/16
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager 432-4977

Citilink Central Station offers one of five Zagster Bike Share stations

Citilink Central Station offers one of five Zagster Bike Share stations in Downtown Fort Wayne

Our Citilink Central Station offers one of five Zagster Bike Share stations in Downtown Fort Wayne! Unlike other programs in which riders must drop off bikes at designated stations for every stop, Zagster's programs give users the freedom to ride as long as they want, wherever they want. Find out more!

 

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Submitted 2/12/16
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager 432-4977

Driving Social Change

The 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks' historic moment of defiance in Montgomery, Alabama, when the seamstress famously refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger, coincides with another milestone in our local public transit history: Lewis Sims was hired in 1955 as the first African American bus driver in Fort Wayne.

In the 1950-60's trolley/motor bus service was provided by the Fort Wayne Transit company. It was then a private-for-profit business managed by a man named Don Walker. In order to qualify for federal transit subsidy the private company needed to integrate their workforce. Mr. Walker met Mr. Sims, who was working as a bartender for the Chamber of Commerce, and encouraged him to apply to be a bus driver. Sims remembers being apprehensive after he started but wasn't afraid. He recalls "Some drivers quit, some riders waited for the next bus or made negative remarks; however, Mr. Walker, some of the drivers and some passengers stood behind me and more followed along after". Sims joined the ranks of 580 drivers as a part-time Bus Operator at 84 cents/hour and 36 years later retired number one in seniority.

Retired Citilink drivers

Frost Illustrated ran a lengthy article about Mr. Sims in the April 4-10, 1990 issue upon his retirement. In it Sims recounted that his biggest satisfaction came from the knowledge that, as a pioneer, he helped other African Americans who came after him.

"I look at the roster and see the black employees. I feel I had something to do with that. I thought if I made it, the company would be encouraged to hire more black workers."

One of those to follow in his footsteps was John Thomas who began driving for Fort Wayne Transit (then known as PTC) in 1967, he was promoted to serve as the first African American Street Supervisor/Dispatcher and retired in 1994. Throughout his 27 years of service to Fort Wayne Transit he was sufficiently fulfilled to recommend it as a career to his son Richard Thomas who began as a driver in 1978 and he has served for 37 years, and counting. Slightly less than a year after starting his new job, Richard Thomas welcomed our third generation Thomas Family bus driver. Fort Wayne Transit (now known as Citilink) welcomed Richard Thomas, Jr. as a bus driver in 2003 and he was promoted to Street Supervisor/Dispatcher in 2006 – following in his Grandfather's footsteps.

Thomas Brothers

Richard, Jr. recalls;

"I would ride along with my Dad and Grandpa and hang around the bus company. Finally, I decided if I was going to spend so much time there I might as well get paid." He added. "Busses are in our blood, my Dad made buses out of old cereal boxes when he was a child and it was my childhood dream to be a bus driver".

A favored tagline for public transit resonates – Public Transit, Getting You There Wherever Life Takes You. On many levels public transit is movement for social change; whether you are riding the bus or driving it. It is access to jobs, and a good union job. It is mobility and economic stability. It is connectivity and empowerment. We are proud of every member of our Fort Wayne Citilink team and the valuable service they provide to help our community move in the right direction.

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 3, 2015
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, Citilink
260-432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Fort Wayne Citilink, Yesteryear

The Fort Wayne Downtown Improvement District Holiday Window Contest theme of "Yesteryear" provided us the opportunity to look through our collection of bus memorabilia for our window display. In addition to the 1950's photo of electric trolleys on Calhoun Street (looking Northeast from Washington Street), that became a painting by Terry Ratliff in 2002 and a window display by Paint the Town Graphics in 2015, we filled a display case for our employees to enjoy.

bus memorabilia for our window display

Public transportation in Fort Wayne has a long history, dating back to the Citizens Street Railroad Company's introduction of horse drawn railcar service on Calhoun Street in 1872. In 1900, the extensive Indiana Interurban Railway system connected Fort Wayne to Huntington and beyond.

In the 1950-60's trolley/motor bus service was provided by the Fort Wayne Transit Company. The administrative/maintenance facility on Leesburg was built in 1955 and Lewis Sims was hired; the first African American bus driver in Fort Wayne. Mr. Sims recalls "Some drivers quit, some riders waited for the next bus or made negative remarks but the General Manager, Donald Walker, some of the drivers and some passengers stood behind me and more followed along after". Mr. Sims joined the ranks of 580 drivers as a part-time Bus Operator at 84 cents/hour and 36 years later retired number one in seniority.

Ed Brager was hired as a Bus Mechanic Apprentice in 1968 when the system became the government owned Fort Wayne Public Transportation Corporation. He recalls working on the oldest bus in the fleet - built in 1947. He started while still in High School so he learned on the job, from the more seasoned mechanics, how to read the manuals and rebuild when there wasn't money to replace. Susan Walter remembers becoming a Bus Operator in 1979: "When I started as a driver, the buses were cold and drafty. There was no power steering and many thought a young girl wouldn't be strong enough to turn the big bus steering wheel around the corners, I showed them!" These days the buses, and maintenance tools, are cutting edge technology; quiet, warm and efficient, and the transit system now known as Citilink has a workforce that reflects the diversity of our community.

Many seniors in our community recall riding the city bus to school or work and taking trips downtown to shop and admire the decorated holiday windows; now lovingly preserved at the Embassy Theater. One of our passengers who uses a wheelchair recalls, as a child, the isolation of staying at home or having her brother pull her down the dirt roads in a wagon. Since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 25 years ago, all buses are lift/ramped equipped and door-to-door service is available as needed; providing access for all.

However you remember the past, 'walking to school uphill both ways barefoot in the snow' or 'awestruck by the magical scenes in downtown store windows', all can agree that it is best to focus on creating a bright future. Citilink has plans for expanded service (nights, weekends, frequency, and locations) to reduce pollution/congestion and provide access to employment/ services. There are visions of regional service that once again connect Northeast Indiana with the rest of the world; perhaps feeder bus routes for high-speed rail trains. Could public transit return to yesteryear ridership levels? Over 20 Million in 1950 compared to 2 Million now.

For a glimpse into the past come see our holiday window display at Citilink Central Station, 121 Baker Street. For a look to the future check out the Bus Fort Wayne Plan on our website fwcitilink.com.

Happy Holidays, from Fort Wayne Citilink/PTC/The Bus Company/etc.

bus memorabilia for our window display

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2015
Media Contact:
Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager, Citilink
260-432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Parkview Health Extends MEDLINK Contract

Parkview Health & Fort Wayne Citilink announce continued support for the MedLink bus route between Parkview Hospital Randallia and Parkview Regional Medical Center. A three year contract renewal provides for 100% of the cost of maintaining this route.

"The MedLink route provides an important service to the community, directly connecting patients, visitors and co-workers between the Parkview Regional Medical Center and Parkview Hospital Randallia campuses," said Ben Miles, president, Parkview Regional Medical Center & Affiliates. "Parkview's partnership with Citilink is important and the continuation of this service means a great deal to many riders. The MedLink route is another way we're proud to support the community by helping to provide services beyond the walls of our hospitals."

A frequent MedLink rider, Wesley Pollard, shares "It is a good way to go volunteer at the hospital and get to doctor appointments". Fort Wayne Citilink General Manager, Ken Housden stated "support from community funding partners, like Parkview Health, is the only way we can provide a vital service like MedLink; with stagnant tax revenue."

Ridership on the MedLink route continues to grow; with record setting levels in September. Use of the Citilink Flexlink route 21 and Access demand response service are also popular routes to obtain vital medical services available in the PRMC campus area.

Take the healthy route: Parkview MedLink operates Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm between Parkview Hospital Randallia and Parkview Regional Medical Center and connects with Citilink routes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 21. More information is available on the Citilink website fwcitilink.com or by calling 432-4546.

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2015
Media Contact:
Betsy Kachmar, Assistant General Manager, Citilink
260-432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Citilink Points to Accessible Transportation Services On 25th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

Calls on Congress to Invest in Long-Term Funding for Fort Wayne's Public Transportation System

On the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) on July 26, Fort Wayne Citilink, in conjunction with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), commemorates the critical role public transportation plays in providing independence and opportunity for people with disabilities. The public transportation industry has improved and expanded accessibility of public transit services and facilities for persons with disabilities.
Since 1994, improvements that have made our Fort Wayne community more accessible include:

  • 100% of all busses and transit facilities are accessible
  • Citilink Access provides over 50,000 door-to-door trips each year to riders when they are unable to utilize fixed route service
  • Citilink provides over 20,000 free trips each year on fixed route buses to Access eligible riders when they are able to use fixed route to their destination
  • Over 4,000 fixed route trips are provided annually to passengers using wheelchair mobility devices

"On this 25th anniversary of ADA, let us not forget that public transit is a lifeline for hundreds of our residents, and especially those individuals with disabilities," said Betsy Kachmar, Citilink AGM. "Public transportation provides freedom, independence and access to jobs, our attractions or simply to visit family and friends. Future progress to expand and improve our system is dependent on action by Congress to fund a surface transportation bill. Funding uncertainty impacts the ability of Fort Wayne Citilink to provide vital mobility for people with disabilities."

Congress must act by July 31, 2015, to continue transportation funding. Citilink commends Senator Donnelly for co-sponsoring an amendment to strengthen funding for the "good state of repair" of public transit vehicles. We call upon Congress to find a dedicated funding solution and to pass a long-term sustainable bill that increases funding for public transportation. Failure to provide long-term investment will have a negative impact on Indiana's economy, jeopardize critical public transit projects, and limit options for people with disabilities.

Download this media releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2015
Media Contact: Betsy Kachmar, 432-4977, bek@fwcitilink.com

Citilink Board Chair Fred Lanahan was presented with a Indiana Citizens' Alliance for Transportation (ICAT) Transit Advocate of the Year Award during Transit Day at the Statehouse on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

Citilink Board Chair Fred Lanahan was presented with a Indiana Citizens' Alliance for Transportation (ICAT) Transit Advocate of the Year AwardIt would be hard to find someone more passionate about public transit and its importance to the Fort Wayne/New Haven area and the State of Indiana than Fred Lanahan. Fred has served on the Fort Wayne Public Transportation Corporation (Citilink) Board of Directors since 1993, acting as chair since 2006. He is a tireless advocate for public transit and strives to promote increased transit use and funding at the local, state and federal levels. During his tenure, he has initiated and participated in regular meetings with many local, state and federal officials; with a focus on increased funding. He is active with APTA, ITA, ICAT, and AARP. He has participated in every Transit Day at the Statehouse and was a speaker the first year. He attends local legislator meetings hosted by others and hosts Citilink bus rides and tours for public officials. He has written to legislators and the media to promote public transit and increased funding. His most recent submission regarding HB1215 can be seen here http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20150205/EDITORIAL/150209814/0/SEARCH.

Fred works to expand multi-modal transportation opportunities though his work on the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association (NIPRA); where he has served as chair since its formation in 2009. The focus of his advocacy and fund raising efforts with this group has been to re-establish passenger rail service though Fort Wayne via the Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus Passenger Rail Corridor. Fred also serves as the Governor's appointee to the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission and on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance.

Public transit in the Fort Wayne/New Haven area would not be as successful as it is today without Fred's leadership, ambition and perseverance to continue to grow the system and expand ridership. His work with NIPRA has resulted in uniting communities throughout northern Indiana and western Ohio to support and commit funding for the Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus rail corridor.