Don't let anyone tell you Madera doesn't have a transit system.
Last year, 50,000 citizens traveled 265,000 miles on Madera's Dial-A-Ride transit system, one of two systems servicing Madera, according to a one-week rider survey by the city.
"We've had this service for at least 10 years or so," said Bob Brown, assistant city administrator.
Last year, 22,500 city and 27,500 county called ahead to reserve curb-side pick up for travel to specific city or county destinations on Dial-A-Ride – all for about the price of a gallon of gas.
This year, the City of Madera will request that the County of Madera foot nearly 20 percent more of the estimated $583,000 cost for Dial-A-Ride Wednesday at a regular meeting of the City Council at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.
"Previous agreements have required the county to reimburse the city for approximately 40 percent of the Dial-A-Ride operating budget," reads the report to the City Council.
Now, the city wants the county to cover 64 percent of costs. That's because 64 percent of total rider miles last year came from county riders, or about 170,000 miles.
City riders make up 36 percent of that total, or about 95,000 miles, according to city data.
For $2 within the county's designated area and $1 within the city's area, riders can travel in air-conditioned comfort to specific addesses or locations such as Madera Community College. Flexibily is the key with Dial-A-Ride because there are no set routes.
Its sister service, the Madera Area Express or MAX, covers mostly city areas along a set route. For 75 cents or a monthly rate of $26, city riders can move along Yosemite to the County Center, down to the south campus of Madera High School and onto the Community Hospital.
For hours of service or questions about either service, contact 661-RIDE (7433).