News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, April 17, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- City leaders say at least 10 companies have expressed interest in taking over Augusta's transit system. They're planning on expanding coverage and changing routes at the same time.
The contract with Mobility is about to expire and some are now showing support.
"Mobility has done a good job," said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.
Rev. Chris Johnson with the Augusta Interfaith Coalition agrees. Johnson told commissioners they did not give Mobility a fair chance.
"We are not going to get side tracked and bogged down with this transportation issue. It's time for this commission to step up," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.
Commissioners voted 9 to 1 to end Mobility's contract.
Commissioner Guilfoyle voted against it then and still opposes it.
"Mobility has accomplished their job. The buses are clean, they stop at every stop," Guilfoyle said.
"I don't want anybody to get side track. The issue is we don't have sufficient transportation in Augusta-Richmond County," Mason said.
City leaders say more than 10 bus companies have shown interest in taking over the bus service. They recently extended Mobility's end date by three months so they could prepare for the transition.
"I don't disagree that we need a grade A bus service. The question is how will we pay for it," Russell said.
"Mobility and any other contract provider will have a shot to submit a proposal. At the end of the day, the one that meets the requirements will get the contract," Mason said.