Ridership down, but OTA buses unaffected by severe cold

The Ottumwa Transit Authority has seen a drastic drop in ridership numbers over the last few days as a result of the freezing temperatures.

Using public transit always requires a certain amount of waiting outdoors and those who use OTA have understandably not wanted to brave the elements this week. The good news is that the buses are running well and haven't encountered any problems due to the cold.

"We've had really no problems with the buses other than normal maintenance things, but the buses have performed real well,' said Dave Silverio, Ottumwa Transit Director. "[Our] supplier keeps anti-gel compounds in [the fuel], so the equipment and the drivers and personnel have operated as they always do and that's just outstanding."

As for any snow that may be in the forecast, Silverio said the buses operate on the main roads in Ottumwa, which are also the city's designated snow routes, so it would take very severe weather for routes to be canceled completely.