South Augusta Bus Routes Not The Priority For Service - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

South Augusta Bus Routes Not The Priority For Service

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Ricardo Smith will soon be walking away from Cherry Tree Crossing, and the Augusta Housing Authority is moving out 350 families.

He has a voucher for a new home and he made sure it was still near a bus line like Cherry Tree.

"Was having the bus important to you?" we asked Smith. "Yes sir, it was important, because you've got transportation because we stay here and you can walk to the bus stop right here," he answered.

Smith will live close to a bus line, but says many of his neighbors being relocated from the Cherry Tree Crossing complex are heading to south Augusta. "There's many heading out there, I mean yeah, there's plenty of them that went out there," he said.

"How are they going to get around?" we asked Smith. "I don't know," he said with a laugh.

 

Large sections of south Augusta, especially the Tobacco Road-Windsor Spring Road area do not have bus service.

"There ain't nothing out therem it's underserved. It needs more service. You'd be surprised, you would get more money if you give the service out there," said bus rider Larry Jones.

Officials with company running the Augusta bus system, McDonald Transit Associates, have a plan to change that with three proposed south Augusta routes, including one for Meadowbrook Drive, Windsor Spring Road, and Tobacco Road.

"That would be just excellent, that would be something to look forward to in the future," said Jones.

But, more service to south Augusta is in the future because for the bus system, the first phase priority is a new Fort Gordon route and adding buses and altering routes to reduce wait times for riders on the other routes.

"South Augusta...the issue we have there, we don't know exactly where everybody is going yet, and the density out there is not set up in a way that we can efficiently or effectively run a service out there because we don't know where people are moving to," says Tim Lett, of McDonald Transit Associates.

City Administrator Fred Russell defended the Fort Gordon route and reducing wait times for riders as the first priority, saying it gives the city more bang for its bucks.

The cost will be $1.1 million. When asked where the city finds that money, Russell said, "good question".

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