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.