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The city of Sedona’s transportation endeavors took a positive turn this week when talk about transit concerned the Verde Lynx rather than the defunct Sedona RoadRunner.

It took Sedona and the Verde Valley a few years to figure out how to make public transportation in a rural area work, but now it’s on track to providing a valuable service.

With the help of the Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority, transit came to Sedona several years ago.

What started as a circulator for shoppers shifted to a service to transport residents between communities for work, school, doctor appointments and shopping, among other activities.

However, the evolution of Sedona and Verde Valley transit didn’t occur without growing pains.

Sedona City Council spent countless hours talking, arguing and compromising over the RoadRunner before it finally decided it did not meet the city’s transit goals.

Support for the Lynx also comes easier for Sedona because the city of Cottonwood stepped up to take on management.

NAIPTA started the program with support from both communities, but now Cottonwood is ready to take over the service.

The Lynx would not exist without NAIPTA’s experience and expertise working with the Mountain Line in Flagstaff, but now it is time for local control.

With the program off the ground and running, a local municipality will be better able to recognize needs and quickly make adjustments to meet ridership demands.

From here, I hope to see the service grow.

Ideally, the Lynx will eventually service the Village of Oak Creek, Cornville, Camp Verde and maybe someday the rural areas along Interstate 17.

For this to happen, other local organizations need to get involved.

The Yavapai-Apache Nation recently announced it received a grant to provide transportation between its two reservations in Camp Verde and Clarkdale. A tribe spokeswoman said the service will be open to anyone looking to make the trip across the valley.

Is this a partnership opportunity to expand the Lynx?

Possibilities for the Lynx are endless and the more people it serves the happier Verde Valley residents will be to support the service.

However, we can’t rely solely on Sedona and Cottonwood to make it happen. All of the local governing bodies need to do their parts.

Trista Steers MacVittie

Managing Editor

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