Free youth bus tickets at MPL this summer | News, Sports, Jobs

TR file photo Marshalltown Municipal Transit and Marshalltown Public Library are offering children free bus tickets to and from the library all summer long.

Marshalltown Municipal Transit and the Marshalltown Public Library are partnering in a pilot program that will allow children to travel to and from the library for free all summer long.

The collaboration between the two entities will allow young people and families with children to obtain free bus tickets at the youth services counter, particularly for transportation to the library. The idea was born out of a simple conversation between Library Manager Sarah Rosenblum and Director of Transit Kevin Pigors, during which Rosenblum mentioned that transportation was an issue for some library patrons.

Pigors said that after some conversation and planning, MPL and MMT have reached an agreement that will provide discounted library bus tickets for the pilot program. In turn, these tickets will be provided to children and their caregivers who may have transportation difficulties.

The partnership is mutually beneficial in the eyes of Pigors, as it will give children access to the library when they otherwise might not have had it, and it will debunk the myth that public transport is only to get to work or school.

“We’re way more than that, especially in the summer when school isn’t in session,” Pigors said. “We also have to look at public transit as recreational activities, so going to the library, going to the aquatic center, and I think with this program it will open the public’s eyes to — there’s so much more to transportation in common than just work and school or shopping.

Taking the bus is also a cheap and reliable alternative to driving with skyrocketing gas prices, and Pigors believes the partnership with the library will remind community members that public transit is a viable option. .

MPL director of youth services, Joa LaVille, said that although the program has only recently started, children are already benefiting from it. LaVille recently helped a sibling duo, who heard about the program from their teacher at Lenihan Middle School, get settled with bus tickets.

She hopes the program will promote summer reading for young people, especially since transportation is so often a barrier.

“Anyone who has lived in Marshalltown for a long time and has attended any type of community needs assessment meeting will know that transportation is literally almost always one of the top things on the list when it comes to barriers,” a- she declared.

While it’s not a resource that all young people need, LaVille said it would be extremely beneficial for those who take advantage of it.

“It’s not necessarily going to be something very, widely used, but I think for those who use it, it’s really going to have a major impact. I mean, I think it’s going to be a do-or-die thing. , where they probably wouldn’t have been able to come or they wouldn’t have been able to participate as much as they would, if they didn’t have a way to get here,” LaVille said.

LaVille also said working with Pigors on the program has been great as it has provided helpful resources so library staff can help people find out how to get home via the bus system, such as extra maps. wide showing the routes.

Although not tied to the bus ticket program, a city bus will be on hand during the Healthy Family Fair at the library on June 25, and LaVille said this could be the perfect opportunity to people who might be nervous about taking a bus for the first time. to ask questions of an operator and see what it really looks like.

“I think for the bus system, I think it’s going to be a way of saying, you know, if somebody’s never been inside the bus or this particular bus, they can come in and see what it’s like and asking questions in a really positive environment where that’s the point, you know, it’s kind of learning about it,” LaVille said.

Bus tickets to and from MPL are available at the Youth Services counter for young people who need them and for adults who bring children to the library throughout the summer.


Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611 or

[email protected]

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Christy J. Olson