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A Capital Area Transit bus travels down Schafer Street last week on a route in northwest Bismarck. 

Bis-Man Transit bus routes are no longer stopping at Gateway Mall due to mall management's concerns about the buses damaging the parking lot.

The bus stop at Gateway Mall was relocated on Wednesday to about a half mile north of the mall, according to Bis-Man Transit Executive Director Roy Rickert.

Public buses now stop at Mapleton Avenue and 14th Street, though Rickert said officials are looking for "a better location." Paratransit buses will still be allowed to stop on mall property as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act, he said.

Raymond Arjmand, owner of the mall's management company, Primero Management, said contractors informed him that the large public buses were damaging the mall's parking lot. He said Bis-Man Transit also refused to provide insurance in the event someone exits the bus and gets injured in the parking lot.

"That's a burden on us and it's a liability," he said.

Rickert said though he can't say whether the buses have damaged the parking lot, he has viewed the entire parking lot and found the area the buses use "are in better shape that the majority of the overall mall parking lot."

He added that Bis-Man Transit is willing to include the Gateway Mall as an additional insured party, but only within the scope of the services Transit provides.

Last year, Bis-Man Transit and Gateway Mall management tried to negotiate an agreement over the bus stop but did not reach a consensus. Arjmand said the mall then allowed Bis-Man Transit to continue to stop there for another year "as a courtesy."

"We wish (Bis-Man Transit) the best of luck," he said. "We've tried to help as we can for the past 30 years and it's time to move on."

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(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)

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