Maxine Meyers was waiting for her bus at the South Augusta Transfer Station on Deans Bridge Road, and she would like to see the city add service to the Tobacco Road area. "You've got the nursing homes, and all the fast food restaurants, where the people are employed, and it's difficult to get home if you don't have your own transportation," said the regular bus rider.
McDonald Transit, the company running Augusta's bus system, is proposing adding routes to Tobacco Road, but not now, and says the first priority needs to be a bus to Fort Gordon.
"These solders are the ones that go defend this nation and our freedoms. They ought to be able to go downtown, or Augusta Mall, or anywhere else, at a reasonable rate," says Augusta Commissioner Alvin Mason, who represents the area.
Transit officials say, along with the Fort Gordon route, the other top priority is reducing wait times for riders.
"You got to, if you don't do that, you're just defeating the purpose. If people have to wait an hour, hour and twenty minutes on a bus," says Mayor Pro-Tem Corey Johnson.
Adding a Fort Gordon route and reducing wait times for the other buses doesn't come cheap, it's more than $1 million.
"Would McDonald Transit pay this as we stand now?" we asked Tim Lett, of McDonald Transit Associates. "That would be something we would work with the Administrator on, because anything we do have to go through the city," he said.
Many Riders would like to see shorter wait times, and a bus to Fort Gordon, but Maxine Meyers has a different priority. "I would like to see the south Augusta routes for the buses. I don't care about the wait times, just as long as the bus comes," she said.
City leaders will meet with the commanders at Fort Gordon later this month to discuss the Fort Gordon bus proposal. City Administrator Fred Russell says, after that, he'll recommend a way for Commissioners to move forward in December.
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