Originally created 04/28/00

Urges better bus service for Augusta



Since moving to Augusta 15 years ago, I've been a constant user of the city's transit system. It leaves much to be desired.

Last week, for instance, there was no bus service at all on Good Friday. I was told this on Thursday -- the day before -- by the driver of the bus I was riding tomy job downtown. I asked my friend and co-worker, who is blind and a daily bus rider, if he knew there'd be no service Friday. He did not, and nor apparently did many other riders we talked with.

The next day, I had to walk several miles to work. Along the way, I stopped and informed a number of people waiting at bus stops that the buses weren't running.

Obviously, communication between Augusta Transit and the public needs to be greatly improved. Why does transit deem it necessary to take the day off, anyway? Admittedly it is a solemn, holy day. But, for most of us, it was a normal business day. Even the banks stayed open; although, if you needed to ride a bus to get to one, you probably didn't make it.

My blind co-worker is also an advocate for the Americans with Disabilities Act, and said that some time ago he went to the transportation office to discuss some problems with officials and was told, in no uncertain terms, that people should not depend onAugusta Transit, but should get their own transportation. Obviously, this would not be an option for him or for many others, either. The transportation department's attitude is very strange and negative.

The bus rider, in Augusta, is probably a minority and a low-income one, at that. Most people have cars here, and probably couldn't care less about the bus service. But many of us depend on the buses to get to work every day.

Now that Augusta is the second largest metropolitan area in Georgia, the city needs to not only upgrade the quality of its air travel, but its inner-city bus transportation, as well. Running buses on Sunday would be a nice start.

John H. Roberts, Augusta