Columbia County Public Transit popular in poor economy

By: Katie Beasley Email
By: Katie Beasley Email

News 12 First at Five, October 9, 2008

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga.---Chuck Hockinson has been riding public transit for about a year. He uses it to go to the doctor, and to buy his groceries. "It's been a big help. It's been like a crutch for me," says Chuck.

A crutch, and a more affordable way for Columbia County citizens to travel. "They see it's a better deal to ride with us at those gas prices and we've seen a spike in that," says Marvy Durden, a dispatcher for Public Transit.

With the spike, the county recently agreed to spend $10,000 on four new buses to replace the oldest ones. The state and federal DOT's are covering the rest of the cost.

Now this isn't your average bus transportation. They take you anywhere you want to go even to your own house.

"They love the fact that they can sit in their living room and watch and wait until we pull up and pick them up instead of having to go somewhere and sit at a bus stop," says Marvy.

And that's not the only thing they love. "They're always on time, I love that about them. I can't drive, so they get me where I need to go," says Priscilla Post, a regular rider.

At $6.00 and $9.00 dollars per round trip, Chuck says, the price can't be beat. "It's very reasonable. As a matter of fact, it's been the best I've seen yet," says Chuck.

While the bus may not be full, the schedule is. Going from stop to stop. To get on the list, you've got to call early. "If they need to have an appointment on Friday and they call on a Thursday, sometimes we fill up so fast that we can't accommodate them because that's how much we're growing," says Marvy.

And Chuck isn't against them growing, or offering the service over the weekend too. "If they switch over to weekends, I'll probably use it on weekends too," says Chuck.

Now anyone who lives in Columbia County can use this service. They do drive into Richmond County and can take you all the way to Gordon Highway.

To make an appointment, call Public Transit at 706-556-0807. The cost is $6.00 round trip if you are more than 60 years old, $9.00 if you are less than 60. Children 12 and under are $2.00 round trip and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

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