Improve city bus service

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I read the article in the Dec. 12 Metro section regarding the Augusta Public Transit System service that stated “More residents ride bus.” The article states that the decision to outsource our transit service remains controversial, and it is. As far as the Augusta Bus Riders Association is concerned, there has not been any change to the bus service for daily riders if there are no extensions of hours or routes.

We want to thank Mike Rosson, general manager of Mobility Transit of Knoxville, Tenn., for extending the hours for a day to accommodate the public who desired to go Christmas shopping last month. If Mobility can extend the hours for that day, why not continue and improve all the hours of service? Consider the bus rider who has to be at work at 5 or 6 in the morning, or someone who gets off work late in the evening. Those people have to pay a good portion of their paychecks to get rides home in taxis, or have to hitch rides with family, friends, co-workers or even church members. Others walk home, sometimes for miles.

This company hasn’t had penalties for poor service because ABRA, out of respect for the new company, waited to see what improvements to service it would bring. ABRA members will attend upcoming Augusta Commission meetings to hear what data and recommendations Mr. Rosson will have. After all, Mr. Rosson stated that the “increase in ridership is attributed to an increase in higher university enrollment, getting the word out and better service.”

ABRA’s suggestion is for members of the public to randomly ride the bus; they can determine if the bus service in Augusta is all it’s supposed to be.

City Administrator Fred Russell said, “I don’t think I’ve had a single one (complaint) since they (Mobility) took over.” Well, just like Mobility is required to provide a monthly database of complaints to the city, ABRA is compiling a monthly database also.

Annette McKie


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avidreader 01/10/12 - 08:16 am
Here's a simple idea: If

Here's a simple idea: If there are enough 6 am and 11 pm riders to warrant additional service, why not poll them and have them commit to purchasing monthly service. If there is not adequate response, extended service is a moot issue. Ms. McKie, your plea smacks of offering up another "entitlement" for the financially depressed citizens (sorry for the euphemism) of Augusta. Or, am I misinterpreting your message?

Mobility Transit was contracted to save us money, not squander assets on unneeded bus routes. Let's leave MT alone and allow them to do their jobs.

I sympathize with the plight of the struggling mom, making $7.50 per hour and barely eeking by. She needs a ride home at 11 pm. However, I am also concerned with the hard-working taxi drivers who need to make an honest buck. Bus service is a nine-to-five convenience, not an entitlement.

broad street narrow mind
broad street narrow mind 01/10/12 - 10:41 am
this bus system was a joke

this bus system was a joke before privatization and hasn't changed much. we still subsidize it, the privatization didn't eliminate that. the company gets the buses and the same legendary directors along with the same routes and schedules. what changed? now someone's getting fat off of it. it doesn't work well enough for anyone to deserve a profit on it. this is crony capitalism as it's dumbest. actually, it's always dumb.
this town will cut off its nose to spite its face every time. the terrible bus system doesn't only make life harder for those who don't have cars but still work (a group we for some reason can't bear to help, especially strange compared to those we do), but is one of the biggest reasons we are considered a backwater town. no public transit is gross. young professionals looking for a good standard of living look for public transit along with bike trails and book shops. why our green mayor can't focus on anything environmental is beyond me. public transit is needed for the working poor, the environment, and the cool factor. you don't need a heart to know it's impotant for any city.

Chillen 01/10/12 - 10:45 am
Augusta is too small a city

Augusta is too small a city to provide bus service. I've never seen one with more than 5 people on it. Waste of taxpayer money. Total waste.

Folks, we MUST get government spending under control. It is out of control.

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