The Augusta Bus Riders Association wants residents to experience the public transit system and the “everyday plight” of those who rely on it.
The association is planning Ride the Bus Day and inviting residents to board a bus at noon Monday from work or home and meet members of the organization at the Kmart at 3830 Washington Road.
Geraldine Wilson, the coordinator of the association, said the goal is to have as many people ride the bus as possible, then report their experiences to the group.
She called the Augusta bus system unaccommodating, citing long waiting times, confusing routes and a lack of an early-morning route.
“We just want the general public to experience the whole thing,” Wilson said. “Experience the system, experience the drivers, experience the time it takes to get where you’re going.
“We have to leave two or 2 1/2 hours early to get anywhere on time on the bus. On days when it’s really hot, we have to endure it. When it rains, we have to endure it,” she said.
Wilson said that when the data from the day is compiled, the group will present it to the Augusta Commission to advocate for change.
It won’t be Wilson’s first time in front of the commission. In April 2011, she presented it with 23 complaints about the public transit system. In response, three commissioners rode buses around town and, other than a few criticisms, gave the system high marks.
Wilson attributed the positive remarks from the commissioners to their lack of a specific destination.
“They just took a joyride last year,” she said. “We didn’t stipulate that they should have a specific destination to get to and a limited time to get there like someone trying to get to work, so they just rode around town.”