AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta Transit riders filled out surveys, and now the transit department wants to make improvements based on responses.
Buses not going where they’re most needed, and more payment options are two of the key issues riders focused on. They also think buses should come around more frequently.
“Increase the number of routes and the length that they run,” said Roger Gosdin, a frequent transit rider. “I think they really need to do that. They don’t need to stop them at seven, they need to run them until eleven o’clock or maybe even later. And also seven days a week.”
For payment, Gosdin thinks cards or money transfer apps should be options.
“I would think a debit card would be good, because exact change means exactly that – they don’t give you any change back,” he said.
The transit department is getting six new replacement buses that will have this feature.
“We have a ticket vending machine at the Broad Street transfer facility and that will be online sometime this year,” said Oliver Page, the Deputy Director of Augusta Transit. “And the six new buses that are coming to Augusta, they will have new fare boxes that will be able to take credit card payments.”
As far as routes, riders think that Augusta Regional Airport and Tobacco Road should be in the mix.
But, there aren’t enough buses for this, and the transit department wants citizens to voice their concerns to city leaders.
“If the citizens of Richmond County can stress the importance of transit to their commissioners,” Page said. “Hopefully when we put in for recommendations for extra funds for improving our bus services, for expanding our bus services, the commissioners will be on the same page as we are.”
And riders agree, change needs to happen.
“Augusta being supposedly the third largest city in the state, is lagging way behind on its public transportation system,” Gosdin said. “I mean they really need to play catch up. I know it is kind of hard to compete with Atlanta, but I mean if Athens can do it you would think Augusta should be able to as well.”
The replacement buses should be in service by the end of May, and there will be updates in regard to expanding the fleet.