News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Business leaders in Augusta are saying it's time to fix the city transit system. They say it's a critical part of how they operate.
Commissioners agree, saying a good bus system encourages new business to come to town.
Some of the things in the works include expanding bus coverage and changing the routes. On Wednesday on The Inside Story, Commissioner Bill Lockett said Mobility, the company that runs the city's transit system, should be fired.
"We have an outstanding labor force that was with the city and is with Mobility now. They can come in and take over at noon today. We would never know the difference," Lockett said.
Sue Parr, the president of the Augusta Chamber of Commerce, says potential companies know. Parr says transportation is a factor in whether or not new industry comes to the city.
"Public transportation is something they are always looking for," she said.
Commissioner Alvin Mason met with customer care centers and officials with Augusta Tech to talk transit and how it impacts employees.
"We've had many companies within the four c indicate our public transit system is sometimes an issue for their employees," Parr said.
"It's no reason for us to kick this down the road any longer. We have to address the concerns of this community," Mason said.
"I would prefer to do it in house. You can make changes at a moment's notice. You can improve the system. We will have $800,000 coming in for transit from the special option local sales tax," Lockett said.
"Whether or not Mobility can provide that is a whole different issue. Here, contract speaks directly to what we already have in place," Lockett said.