Nebraska Transit Week: StarTran giving M&M’s to passengers
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - It’s Nebraska Transit Week and StarTran drivers are showing their appreciation for riders over the next few days.
10/11 NOW has been following ridership over the past several months, and the pandemic has been tough for StarTran bus drivers and passengers. At one point, Lincoln’s bus system lost nearly half their riders, but despite the rapid decline, the drivers were there every step of the way and now they’re giving back.
Chris Funk has been driving with StarTran for a year and a half and after starting his routes during the pandemic, he’s seen the ups and downs of their ridership.
As part of Nebraska Transit Week, Funk and other drivers will be handing out M&Ms to passengers over the next few days with the message ‘thank you for riding miles & miles with us.’ Funk said this will spread awareness for Lincoln’s transit system, but also show riders how much they’re appreciated.
“I know that they know we appreciate their patronage,” Funk said, “However, giving them a small treat just reinforces that we appreciate you riding the buses and this is from us.”
During this week it’s not all about the riders. As much appreciation as they give out, the ones driving the bus deserve credit too. LTU will also be giving their drivers gifts for their work with StarTran.
Funk said this week is also a good opportunity for passengers to show their appreciation and a simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way. Despite some of the challenges of the pandemic, he said he loves his job and the best part about it is the interaction with the people.
“When someone comes on and they’re appreciative of me it’s truly an honor,” Funk said, “We work hard every day to make sure that we get people to and from work, home, school, doctors appointments wherever they’re going and we do it safely. For the drivers to be recognized is huge and let’s us know that we’re valued and we’re needed.”
Lincoln’s bus system has been in line with other public transportation and required masks on their busses. Effective April 19, 2022, StarTran will not require masks when riding a bus.
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