ATA Bus began a new deviated fixed route from University Crossing Apartments to the K-State Student Union on Monday.
ATA Director Anne Smith said the bus delivered 80 passengers on the opening day of the route.
A deviated-fixed route differs from a standard-fixed route in that the bus does not adhere to the route at all times.
If a person calls in advance to schedule a pick-up within two blocks of the designated route, the bus will deviate from the route to accommodate the new passenger.
A standard fixed route has designated stopping points and designated delivery points that are strictly adhered to at all times, Smith said.
The deviated-fixed routes allow ATA to operate on a minimal budget while still offering public transportation to the citizens of the city of Manhattan and the surrounding area.
The bus charges $2 inside Manhattan city limits and $4 outside Manhattan.
The Manhattan City Commission, ATA Bus and K-State Parking Services have had ongoing discussion about implementing a fixed public transportation route covering the entire city of Manhattan.
“[The K-State transportation committee] has a meeting early next month to talk with the city and other folks in the transportation area to talk about a city-wide system,” said Darwin Abbot, K-State transportation director.
Abbot said the city and K-State tried to implement city-wide public transportation in 1998 and 1999.
The project was dropped after the 2000 Census showed the population of Manhattan was below 50,000.
State and federal funding is provided to cities for public transportation with populations above 50,000.
Until state and federal funding becomes available, the deviated-fixed routes will be all the city and ATA can offer.
City officials must wait and see how the 2010 Census returns on population for another chance at federal funding.
“[The public transportation system] has to be integrated; it has to work jointly,” Smith said. “The whole community has to work together to develop a fixed route.”