Celebrating Delaware Transit Corporation and Dover Air Force Base Collaboration to Improve and Expand DART Bus Route 106

Dover --

Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) Secretary Jennifer Cohan, Delaware Transit Corporation Chief Executive Officer John Sisson and Dover Air Force Base Commander of the 436th Airlift Wing Colonel Ethan Griffin along with other officials, cut the ribbon yesterday, January 5, 2017, to celebrate Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) and Dover Air Force Base (DAFB) collaboration to improve and expand the DART Bus Route 106. The service provides better access from the DAFB to points of interest along the U.S. Route 13 corridor, allowing the Airmen and their families to enjoy shopping, entertainment, and educational opportunities.

"Today, we cut the ribbon on the new and improved Route 106 signifying the ongoing partnership between DART and the DAFB. At DelDOT, we're all about making connections, between employees and employers, customers and businesses, and members of the community. We're proud to help the DAFB improve its connections for the men and women who serve it," said Secretary Jennifer Cohan.

The Route 106 has been streamlined for customer convenience providing direct access to attractions along U.S. Route 13 between DAFB and Scarborough Road Park & Ride via Blue Hen Corporate Center, Luther Village Apartments, Capital Commons Shopping Center (formerly Kmart), Dover Downs and Dover Mall. The route operates hourly from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Riders can connect to Route 107 at the Blue Hen Mall for service into downtown Dover and Dover Transit Center.

Conversations began to improve transportation options for Airmen in July 2015 between DAFB Leadership, DTC and the City of Dover. Over the long July 4th holiday, several Airmen were not able to leave the base to experience local area attractions due to the lack of transportation options. "From there, this outstanding community moved forward and partnered to come up with the idea of this route. Since that inception, Dover AFB and the community have been in partnership to solve any and all problems that could come from a project that links the community with the base. They worked to ensure that safety wasn't compromised, the mission wasn't compromised, and that our Airmen's rights, or customer rights weren't compromised," said Colonel Ethan Griffin, DAFB Commander of the 436th Airlift Wing.

The new bus stops on the DAFB are located at the Visitors Center, DAFB Housing and DAFB Housing Gate to accommodate DAFB Airmen in the dormitories, DAFB guests in lodging and DAFB families in base housing. The new parking lot renovations at the Visitors Center accommodate the 35 ft. bus and minimize traffic flow interruptions at the DAFB Main Gate.

John T. Sisson, Chief Executive Officer of Delaware Transit Corporation, said, "As a son whose father was stationed at Dover Air Force Base, I understand what it means to the men and women living on the base to be able to connect with all that Dover has to offer."

As a result of the First State Community Partnership Program Initiative, DTC and DAFB began to work together to develop a win/win solution encompassing the increase in ridership from the base and a more attractive route with convenient times. Over the past 18 months, the two organizations have been meeting regularly to develop a way forward, beginning with DART listening to the people they serve. Improvements to the Bus Route 106 were developed through extensive conversations with base leadership, as well as surveys of base personnel and residents of base housing. A process of research, surveys and assessments with data being collected by both DTC and DAFB on how the base was utilizing public transportation options were analyzed.

The result is an improved route that will increase DART ridership by providing access to the local area for Airmen and their families, as well as DAFB lodging guests to create a positive economic impact for the community, and above all, a continued solidified, collaborative business relationship between DTC and DAFB.

About The Delaware Transit Corporation: As a subsidiary of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), DTC operates DART First State. Real-Time Transit Information is now available on the free DelDOT App (iOS and Android), as well as DART's Trip Planner on www.DartFirstState.com. For more information, please call 1-800-652-DART.

About Dover Air Force Base: Celebrating 75 years as a Base and 70 years as an Air Force, Dover AFB is home to the 436th Airlift Wing and the 512th Airlift Wing. Dover's mission is Rapid, Global Mobility, Now! The base is a major player in global mobility as the only east coast heavy lifter presence. It is also home to the only Department of Defense Port Mortuary and the largest Aerial Port in the DoD. Dover AFB has an economic impact of $546M on the State of Delaware and surrounding area, and is the 5th largest employer in the State.

About First State Community Partnership Program: The purpose of the First State Community Partnership (FSCP) is to promote partnership and collaboration between Dover Air Force Base (DAFB), State and local governments, community organizations, and local businesses. For more information please contact the FSCP Program Manager, 302-677-5779.