Bus riders want a lift on Black Friday

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

News12 at 6 o'clock, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The city of Augusta closed for business on Thanksgiving and and the day after. They're both paid government holidays.

It means no one is working not even city bus drivers. Those that need transportation are upset that the buses are on hold as well.

354 days a year city buses will take you around 65 percent of the county. On 11 days, Augusta Public Transit stops completely. Buses don't run on city holidays and that means no transportation for riders like Sylvester Boone on Black Friday.

"It ain't fair. It ain't fair to the community," said Bus Rider Sylvester Boone.

Boone says he knows people who won't be able to pick up their check on Friday or do any shopping at the stores. Taxi cabs will be working but that's not an option for him.

"The taxi's charge you an arm and a leg. The taxi's charge you a lot," said Boone.

We're told part of the reason buses don't run on city holidays is because of cost. When the city ran the bus system the drivers were government employees meaning they had to be paid time and a half for working holidays. Now a private company is behind the wheel.

"I think it's worth it. It benefits the city as well. in order for the city to make money they have to spend money."

"It's tough because, we try to balance cost versus services. In this case, hopefully we can look at providing services on city holidays when other things are not closed," said City Administrator Fred Russell.

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