Yavapai-Apache Nation to add 2 new lines to Verde Valley bus routes
By Don Decker, Yavapai-Apache Nation News Department, Camp Verde, Arizona
Two news buses will begin servicing Verde Lakes and Rimrock communities as soon as the schedules and preparations are made for such things as bus stop locations and the shelter for the passengers. The 2 news buses will then feed into regular stops at the Cliff Castle Casino which will then take passengers into Cottonwood (CAT-Cottonwood Area Transit) and Sedona’s Verde Lynx according to Ernestine Smith, Public Transportation Supervisor for the Yavapai-Apache Nation.
Members from the Public Works program and fleet and the grants office of the Yavapai-Apache Nation gathered around two new buses and a Dodge Grand Caravan on June 6 for photographs. The two new buses are emblazed with scenic photographs from the area and the artwork of the Yavapai and Apache on the sides of the buses.
This long process which began almost 11 years ago according to the Yavapai-Apache Nation’s grant coordinator Robert Mills, has now brought a total of 4 bus shuttles that will be operating to pick up passengers throughout Verde Valley. The Tunlii Express mini-shuttle which services a housing area east of the Yavapai County court complex on Highway 260 will eventually be discontinued since one of the new buses will begin servicing Tunlii community.
A new bus schedule is now in process to begin advertising the rides by this coming August according to Mrs. Smith. The current bus schedule is located on the Nation’s website (yavapai apache nation.org).
Robert Mills, the Nation’s grant writer was responsible for the development of the transit service. He said that the current monies were acquired through the FTA (Federal Transportation Administration) which consist of the ‘Expansion Grant’ ($300,000), another $105,000 for the FTA’s ‘Ladder’s Grant’ and $35,000 for the purchase of the Dodge Caravan. The buses and the caravan are designed with a lift to transport passengers in wheel chairs.