Public transportation is now serving the Bagnell Dam Strip. And it's just a dollar a ride. The Strip Express made its inaugural debut Friday, June 29, hosting a small band of local officials, transit employees and members of the media. The single small shuttle bus departed from Monarch Plaza for a trip along the Strip as well as to Iguana Campground, the Lodge at Port Arrowhead and Fish Haven Apartments.

Public transportation is now serving the Bagnell Dam Strip. And it’s just a dollar a ride. The Strip Express made its inaugural debut Friday, June 29, hosting a small band of local officials, transit employees and members of the media. The single small shuttle bus departed from Monarch Plaza for a trip along the Strip as well as to Iguana Campground, the Lodge at Port Arrowhead and Fish Haven Apartments.

With its reach to affordable housing in the vicinity, lodging and local attractions and restaurants, the route was planned to serve visitors and residents alike while also helping alleviate well known parking issues on the Strip.

Lake Ozark aldermen Gerry Murawski and Dennis Klautzer worked together with OATS Transit to make the service possible. OATS Transit is managing the route from the shuttle bus to the drivers.

In his fifth year as an alderman, Murawski was thrilled that the bus service was now a reality after about a year and a half working on the project. He says the service is just the tip of improvements he hopes to bring to his ward during his tenure as an alderman.

According to Murawski, the Strip currently has 189 parking spots. With parking areas near certain bus stops, this service will provide an additional 183 parking spots.

The route is a special deviated route with regular runs including Iguana Campground, the Strip and Monarch Plaza. Then every hour, the shuttle will extend to include the Lodge at Port Arrowhead and Fish Haven.

Large placards designate bus stops. Catch a ride for $1 one-way, or $5 for an unlimited on-and-off one-day wristband.

The service runs 1-6 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays and noon to 2 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

Lake Ozark businesses helped make this service possible, underwriting the community’s annual cost share with OATS.

If the trial program is successful, Murawski indicated that the city may consider a transportation development district to fund the service into the future. It may also expand the route to include another bus or work with other locations for wider service.