Shortage of drivers and buses causing delays on Augusta Transit routes

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AUGUSTA, GA ( WJBF) — Some riders say getting from one place to another could now take an extra hour because of delays on several routes on Augusta Transit.

” Lets say I had an appointment at 1:30 and the bus is running an hour behind, I’ll probably make it there at 2:30 and miss my appointment,” transit rider Drew Kelly said.

For Kelly that means running late for his dialysis appointments — sometimes even having to walk.

” There have been a couple of times and when I got there I was tired, but I got there though,” Kelly said.

Augusta Transit leaders say not charging fares during the pandemic has created an increased demand, but there are not enough drivers and not enough buses to cover all the routes.

“So because we have one or two buses that are being repaired those buses have been taken off bus routes 5 and 7. So right now we only have one bus on route number 7 and one bus on route number 5 so that does mean increased wait times for our passengers,” Augusta Transit deputy director Oliver Page said.

Page said finding drivers has also been hard.

” COVID-19 has impacted the number of people that have been applying for bus operator positions,” Page said.

Augusta Transit is hoping to apply funding for electric buses next year.

“We feel that if we have electric buses here in Augusta we will attract more riders and also since these electric buses will be new they will be 100% reliable for several years,” Page said.

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