NORFOLK, Neb. – Students of Northeast Community College will have an easier time getting around Norfolk beginning this fall. College officials have signed a new agreement with North Fork Area Transit to create the ‘Hawks Ride Free’ program that will allow Northeast students to ride the new ‘ForkLift’ flex-route bus at no cost beginning in the 2022-23 academic year.
“Providing this service is not just a matter of access, it addresses an equity issue as well for many of our students,” said Amanda Nipp, vice president of student services. It will remove any obstacles, especially for those who may not own a vehicle, allowing them to travel across the community whether it’s to come to class on campus, get to a medical appointment or run an errand. We are pleased to be able to offer them this wonderful opportunity.”
North Fork representatives are pleased they will be able to assist in the students’ transportation needs.
North Fork Area Transit busses will provide rides along three routes that include approximately 100 bus stops across the community. Routes 1 and 2 will begin service in April with Route 3 starting in August.
“We are so happy to be able to provide regular bus service to Northeast Community College and get students around Norfolk at no cost to them,” said Jeffrey Stewart, general manager.
Through the ‘Hawks Ride Free’ program, Northeast students will have access to two different bus routes
from campus at 801 E. Benjamin Ave. Route 1 travels between the college with stops along 1st St.,
downtown and shopping destinations in southwest Norfolk, including the Sunset Plaza Mall and Walmart.
Route 2 runs on Pasewalk Ave. between Norfolk Senior High School and the Fountain Point Medical
Community. Route 3 will stop on the Northeast campus and travel on Benjamin Ave. and 13th St. It also includes retail stores in southwest Norfolk. Students may also transfer between routes to get to their desired destination for free.
To ride ForkLift, Northeast students will simply show their Student ID for unlimited rides. The service’s three routes will run throughout Norfolk approximately every 30 minutes, Mondays-Saturdays, from 6:30 a.m.- 6:30 p.m., and from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., on Sundays.
The flex-route service begins in the community this spring. The free service for Northeast students, which will be financed through student fees, will start this fall.