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Parkview subsidy helps transit system add Medlink

– A new hourly bus service will transport passengers between the Parkview Hospital campus on Randallia Drive and Parkview Regional Medical Center on Diebold Road five days a week, beginning in January.

Parkview Health has agreed to underwrite the cost of providing the new Medlink route, and Citilink will be in charge of transportation.

“Parkview’s funding of the new route is crucial,” Citilink’s general manager Ken Housden said, “because otherwise Citilink could not operate buses beyond our service territory.”

In addition to providing transportation between the two campuses, the route will also include stops at five locations along the route so that passengers can transfer if necessary, said Betsy Kachmar, assistant general manager at Citilink.

“We have been working closely with Citilink to explore ways to improve public transportation options,” said Sue Ehinger, president of Parkview Regional Medical Center & Affiliates. “Parkview wants to ensure that patients and visitors have the appropriate access to medical services and facilities. Our decision to fund the new route will result in access that is greatly improved.”

There are temporary measures in place for those who wish to get from one campus to another, and the number of people using those measures has been a good indicator of the demand for the new route, Kachmar said. The majority of people using the services include Parkview employees and volunteers, hospital visitors and those in need of medical testing or lab work, she said.

Beginning Jan. 7, Medlink buses will operate hourly Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Passenger fares will be consistent with Citilink’s current rates – $1.25 per ride with discounts available. Until the new service begins, Parkview will continue its temporary measures to assist bus passengers.

Citilink Access – a special transportation program for those with disabilities – will also participate in the new route, Kachmar said.

The Medlink route traverses Randallia Drive, East State Boulevard, Parnell Avenue, North Clinton Street and Diebold Road.

For more information visit the Citilink website at www.fwcitilink.com.

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