Aug 18 Downtown Bismarck News

Next Level for Transit 

An in-depth look at the future of bus service in Bismarck-Mandan…

Bismarck has been in the beginning stages of transitioning from a big town, to a small city.  That means supporting new populations with a fixed-route bus system that functions efficiently for more users.
Bis-Man Transit is really two services, para-transit and fixed-route (CAT Bus). Currently Para-transit is door-to-door transportation for people over the age of 60 or with disabilities. The CAT Bus is a fixed-route system providing affordable public transportation.
As our student population grows, our Downtown develops, and more new citizens are moving to Bismarck from communities where public transportation was a suitable option for commuting– our transit system needs to evolve.  BisMan Transit is seeking public input from the community about the next step for public transportation in Bismarck-Mandan.  Funding shortfalls for public transportation have brought the issue to a head, solutions and efficiencies must be made.  An early proposal from BisMan Transit would tighten up requirements for para-transit users.  Raising the minimum age from 60 for riders of para-transit, transitioning able bodied riders to the fixed-route system to keep the focus on riders with disabilities who rely  heavily on the para-transit system.  This change would require the CAT Bus to function much more intuitively.  The current fixed-route system (CAT Bus) has below expected ridership for a community our size.  Current routes can be long and difficult to understand– keeping ridership numbers lower than expectations.  The question becomes, what changes to the CAT Bus system would increase ridership?  Simpler routes?  Shorter routes?  Park ‘n Ride Routes for Large Employers?  Easy Payment Systems?  Rebranding?  The devil is in the details in this case, and all of the above improvements can be vetted.
If you’re a Downtown employee and your ID badge could be used to access the bus, your commute would be 15 or 30 mins depending on where you live, would you use it?  If you’re a student at the University of Mary, UTTC, or BSC and your Student ID gave you access to a 15 or 30 minute route to your Downtown job, would you use it?  If you’re a young professional and you could use your smart phone to pay for a 15-30 minute bus ride to Downtown to enjoy an evening out without worrying about a safe ride home, would you use it?  These are all possibilities with an intuitive bus system, and Bismarck will soon need to provide public bus transportation as a reliable option or elective if we are going to grow into a well functioning city.  Kudos to BisMan Transit for undertaking a big change for our small city.  Get involved, offer suggestions, and be a part of the conversation to make Bismarck even better.  For more information visit

Association News

Welcome to our Newest Members! 
The Mortgage Company 
The Mortgage Company has many mortgage products ranging from the standard Conventional, FHA, and VA loans, fixed and adjustable rate products, as well as 100% financing with no mortgage insurance, and much more.

Other member news…

Member MSA United Way will host Women United Little Black Dress Campaign Sept 19-22. Kickoff Luncheon for participants will be Sept 19 from 12-1pm at the Bismarck Country Club.  Join more than 100 women, each wearing a black dress or outfit for four days, with the goal to raise funds for women and children in need in our community. Celebration for the campaign will be at the ND Heritage Center for the annual Women United Fundraiser, “Community, Caring & Cocktails” Event from 6:30-8:30pm on Sept 22. For more information please visit:

Member First Presbyterian Church will host the First Presbyterian Fine Arts Festival  on Sept 11 & 12. The festival is seeking works of art that portray wide interpretations of “celebrating creations” and may or may not be religious in nature. Youth artists 18 years old and younger are encouraged to participate in the festival with one or two entries. For more information about the festival and how to register artwork please visit:

The Downtowners member survey for the Main Ave Road Diet will be going out by email tomorrow!  Members, please take few minutes to give us your feedback at the mid-way point of the demonstration period.

Click to submit member news.

Downtown News

New to Downtown?  Check out the “Parking” page on our website!  It gives you all the basics on parking Downtown with links for more information.