How The CAT was started
The push to start a fixed route system in Bismarck and Mandan began in August 2000 when consultants hired to conduct a transit study in the capital area requested data from Bis-Man Transit regarding the need and desire for public transportation services. In February 2001, three options were being considered in the study: (1) Do nothing – leaves things as they are, (2) Expand to Transit Dependent and add 5 fixed routes, (3) Decrease Demand Response and add 10-12 fixed routes. After considerable discussion among the Bis-Man Transit board it was decided to pursue option 2.
In July 2001, a proposal based on the transit study was accepted by the Bismarck City Commission and the Metropolitan Planning Organization. In August 2003, it was recommended and approved that the fixed route system be called Capital Area Transit with the abbreviation of CAT. An application for the name was submitted to the North Dakota Secretary of State office.
A competition was held among Bismarck State College commercial art class students to design a logo for CAT and a winning design by Catherine Dalzell was chosen in December 2003. On May 6th, 2004, the official dedication of Capital Area Transit took place and the first rides started taking place on May 25th. Free rides were given during May and June to introduce the new service to the communities.
Since 2004, Capital Area Transit has expanded to 12 routes serving Bismarck and Mandan. Riders utilize our public transportation services for numerous reasons including work, school, volunteering, shopping, and socializing with family and friends.
More information about Bis-Man Transit and The CAT can be found by downloading the Media Fact Sheet.