City of Sioux Falls announces this morning transit system going to shuttle service

Not sure if this will be a short term experiment, but the Innovation office announced this morning in a DTSF meeting (According to councilor Stehly) that they are going to an on demand shuttle service using phone aps.

While I know they have been discussing this for places that are NOT served well by the bus routes, I don’t think going ALL shuttle service would be a good idea. You are going to still need fixed routes, and what about people with NO phones?

Also, what would be the cost of eliminating full-size buses and moving to shuttles?

It will be interesting to hear the details of the plan. I guess we will find out in an informational in July.


#1 "'Extremely' Stable Genius" on 06.11.19 at 11:14 am

And then eventually the shuttles will go away too. We should be promoting mass transit, but instead we have a indoor pool, $10 beers, and warped siding.

#2 Sierra broussard on 06.11.19 at 12:26 pm

Are they trying to get rid of all the city busses and go to shuttle bus service all together?

#3 anonymous on 06.11.19 at 1:27 pm

Public transportation that requires a smart phone to use.

Sounds like a potential discrimination lawsuit to me

#4 l3wis on 06.11.19 at 2:25 pm

I think they will still have a fixed bus route.

#5 Chr. of the Seney Island Reclamation Committee on 06.11.19 at 2:37 pm

The day will come, when all we will have are pedal pubs; but then again, as long as we are drunk and can still pedal, I guess we won’t care.

#6 Joe on 06.11.19 at 2:57 pm

Actually, this news came out more than a month ago… not this morning

#7 l3wis on 06.11.19 at 3:04 pm

Joe, I remember reading your story, but I think the proposal has changed a little from what you wrote. And who knows how much more it will change before the informational in July. Ironically, this idea was one of the great ideas Loetscher was pitching during her campaign.

#8 Theresa stehly on 06.11.19 at 3:13 pm

I have the greatest respect for Joe Sneve and his reporting colleagues . However, I don’t think the City Council should have to get their briefings from a newspaper. This was the first I had heard about it along with the DTSF members. City Council members I spoke with today were also not aware of this. I eagerly await the public informational so all can hear the proposal.

#9 "'Extremely' Stable Genius" on 06.11.19 at 3:15 pm

Maybe these shuttles could work within precincts, too… OH, I am sorry, “precincts” is probably not the right word for it, huh?…(“ESG, how many times have I told you to never use the word “precinct” or “precincts” around the City – especially the police – or the School Board?”)

#10 matt johnson on 06.11.19 at 8:42 pm

worried about having to have a smart phone- what happened to their Obama phones?

#11 D@ily Spin on 06.11.19 at 11:04 pm

A lot of people have come to depend on transit. An on demand service might be considered but keep it aside from reliable bus schedules. A city taxi service is trade interference with private business (Lyft and Uber). Is FTC litigation worth it? Camera tickets got attention. This could become a federal Supreme Court case where TenHaken would get scolded worse than the attorney general did for internet sales tax.

#12 anonymous on 06.12.19 at 9:34 am

Yesterday, it was announced Uber has begun the process to be able to operate in both Rapid City and Sioux Falls.

#13 anonymous on 06.12.19 at 9:36 am

Is this the way the h.s. graduate thumbs his nose at the 8 ‘elected’ representatives on the Council!!

#14 Conservative Here on 06.12.19 at 10:30 am

I would be interested to see the raw numbers of who is riding the buses and any data that shows cost to run bus routes vs what income is taken in. Every-time I see the bus there is like 2 people on it and the bus station on Louise always APPEARS to be a place for cops to sit and catch speeders as I never see anyone at it.

I think the other point I would make is Sioux Falls is not like other big cities, downtown is not the life blood of the city and we are very spread out. So before we move forward some data would be nice to see to make sure we are not spending out money on more junk or change for the sake of change

#15 Zach DeBoer on 06.12.19 at 10:40 am

To clear this up a little (I was there), the city is not actively implementing this idea. Merely, it is the current model they are looking at piloting. I didn’t get the impression this was actively being rolled out next and fixed route bus lines are getting axed anytime soon.

Your concerns are still valid, I think it’s still in the planning stages though.

#16 l3wis on 06.12.19 at 12:03 pm

I really think our city’s largest employers should be at the table. In larger cities many people ditch their cars for public transit and bikes because it is faster and safer. I agree with an idea Zokaites had at a neighborhood summit a few years ago that we move to light the bike trail and let it be used 24/7. When it is NOT flooded it is an excellent and safe way to commute thru our city.

#17 The Numbers Tell the Story on 06.12.19 at 12:22 pm

Look at the data.

It’s the cost of ParaTransit that is strangling the system.

#18 Theresa stehly on 06.12.19 at 12:44 pm

From Zach DeBoer comment on my facebook page: “At the DTSF Membership Meeting this morning at the “War Room” we were told that they are now looking at eliminating the existing routes and switching to 100% lyft-style ride hailing.”

#19 anonymous on 06.12.19 at 2:12 pm

Councilor Stehly

“they are now looking at eliminating the existing routes and switching to 100% lyft-style ride hailing.”

This is what you get when you put together a team of people who have little or no expertise in urban planning and transit.

I wonder if they even bothered to look at previous studies which involved people who worked for ParaTransit since its beginnings, along with others who had years of experience in public transit.

Will they solve (with their sticky notes!) the same issues the last transit TF identified?

Decreased federal funding

Paratransit rides that were costing (at that time) $27 with the rider paying $3 of that cost

Perimeters for who can use Paratransit (history will show the City allowed these geographical boundaries to be expanded beyond what is federally permitted)

Multiple non-profits who were not pulling their weight for their users when it came to Paratransit

Dakota Abilities
Lifescape (previously known as SD Achieve)

#20 Conservative Here on 06.12.19 at 2:17 pm

DTSF Membership meeting??? Why are so many people obsessed with making DTSF this mecca of places to go. Sometimes it appears we care too much about a small part of the city that most do not venture to frequently. I know I avoid DTSF as best I can, the traffic stinks, parking is horrible, many things are not open past 5pm, etc. I am a little in awe of how much focus is put on such a limited part of town. I guess we do have a new parking ramp thats being unused, that is a plus I guess 🙂

#21 Mike Logan on 06.12.19 at 6:32 pm

The individuals that rely on the food pantry or shelters those disabled or indigent or the elderly on very fixed incomes, for the very most part they do not own a smart phone for these citizens it would be a phone or rent or food. What little freedom they all do or did have was the little bit of freedom they received by the ability to travel where they wanted with public transit. If this shuttle idea should pass I would reconsider the whispers of rumors that some of our currant city administration want to clean up the city of the indigent the immigrants. Taking a big part of freedom from all the mentioned that have come to rely on the public transit system, the most disturbing part those that rely on the transit system the most are probally completely in the dark on this issue until it takes effect.

#22 Theresa stehly on 06.12.19 at 8:47 pm

KDLT ran a story about it on Wednesday June 12th. The City IT department is now asking the public for input. That’s a good thing. Email me or my colleagues with comments or concerns.

#23 Demanding ransom for the 2nd Arc on 06.12.19 at 8:54 pm

This is an example, where the Taupe Housing Society of Conformity just assumes that everyone owns a smartphone….

(“Hey, Grandma, you are going to need to get a smartphone and an app.” (“What?”….”Who farted near my phone?”…. “And I don’t want to take a nap.”))

#24 D@ily Spin on 06.12.19 at 11:11 pm

Buy new buses, build a multimillion city bus garage, and develop transfer junctions then abandon everything because it’s working for low income families. Sounds like city philosophy to me. If it didn’t fail, it must be abolished.

#25 D@ily Spin on 06.12.19 at 11:22 pm

If you can’t make bond payments on pleasure places, say so. Don’t look for credit card minimums by taking away infrastructure. The Ag economy is failing. Other factors affect the city budget. Take bankruptcy. It was Huether, not this mayor or this council. Nothing to be ashamed of. Californians live here now. They’ll understand.

#26 Kathy Bergquist on 06.13.19 at 6:23 am

Have any “elected” official ever ridden on this bus system? I think they should. From now until the July meeting. They should take for work, shopping, and pleasure. Our “elected” officials should talk to their fellow riders.

#27 theresa stehly on 06.13.19 at 10:55 am

Kathy, I have had to use the transit system in the past when my car was being repaired. I am grateful that we are listening to all the people who utilize this important service. My concern is that we never shut people out because they can’t access the system. I would like to see a combination of what we currently have blended with a satellite system to those 24/7 needs. We are also offering free bus passes for Sioux Falls middle school and high school kids. Contact me at for more information.

#28 Mike Logan on 06.13.19 at 10:56 am

Exactly Kathy Berquist all this sounds great in theory when they are not using the transit. The people hurt the most are the riders, there have been more times than I can count, I have seen the depot packed full of people inside and out. If this was going to be positive why not put notifications up at the shelters the bus depots and where the core riders are. It seems to me it will have a major negative impact on the citizens that rely on it most, and if they are kept in the dark, the city can sneak it through with minimal back lash,

#29 Limousine Liberal on 06.13.19 at 12:11 pm

Maybe we could create a quasi public/private consortium with the help of Wheelchair Express. Using “CBs” inorder for the drivers and the passengers to communicate…..#UhBreakerBreaker…