Metro Ride last year had to deny the Wausau Hmong Festival’s request to for them to provide busing services for the two-day festival.
Why? At the time, the public transit service was pretty low on bus drivers.
But now it’s back. The city’s Transit Commission Thursday approved providing busing service for the two-day event. The busing allows people to park off-site and avoid cluttering up the nearby neighborhoods with parked cars, since the Peoples Sports Complex doesn’t have adequate parking for the event.
Wausau Hmong Festival draws attendees from around the state and surrounding states to the festival celebrating Hmong heritage, with an emphasis on sports such as volleyball, soccer and flag football. Attendance and economic impact has doubled since its inception, says board member William Harris.
Metro Ride Director Matthew Rosenbloom-Jones says the transit service is at full capacity for full-time staff, and that they should be able to handle the 65 working hours it takes to run bus service to the event.
Transit Commission member Carol Lukens says she is supportive of the bus service. “Last year there was a lot of disappointment when the city was not able to provide that service because of staffing,” Lukens says. “It’s wonderful that we can do this again.”
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