Is there a solution to ongoing issues with Augusta Transit?

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 5:00 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Many have reached out to us about issues using the Augusta bus system. We’ve been hearing about problems with the bus tracking app and even getting buses to show up.

Back in September, riders told us they had problems with how long the routes took.

We spoke with transportation leaders to see what they are doing to fix these problems.

Augusta Transit tells us these issues have caused them to lose nearly 1,000 riders. In August, they received a federal grant for more than $6 million for electric buses, but they are on backorder, and the buses they have now are not cutting it.

“I’ll say it really got out of hand in November. I felt it in November. There were no buses. There was never a bus at West Parkway. You’d have to call, and they’d say, ‘no, it’s not running today’,” said the bus rider.

She doesn’t want to show her face because doesn’t want any backlash on the bus, but she says enough is enough.

“Routes are discontinued from day to day, sometimes on sometimes off, without notice until you get to the transfer facility, and then we’ll have a posted type sheet stating that bus number two is not running today. Well, what good does that do me when I’m already down here looking for bus number two? Now I got to figure out a way to get back,” she said.

Augusta Transit says they are aware of the issues and are trying to be transparent with riders.

Oliver Page is the deputy director. He said, “There’s a supply chain issue that is impacting how quickly we can repair our buses because we can’t get the parts and how quickly we can get new buses on the road because there is a delay in the manufacturing of those new buses.”

Page says they do send vans when the buses break down but riders say it’s useless.

The rider said: “Van doesn’t hold but five people. If you have packages, you really can’t get in the van. So then I’m stuck looking around trying to get an Uber or calling a friend to pick you up.”

Transit hopes when they add three used buses to its fleet, it will help the flow until its diesel buses come in the spring.

Page: “One’s already on the street. They’re wrapping one bus per week. One came on a Monday. This one will be coming on Monday, the 30th, and we’re going to wrap another bus to come out the following Monday.”

Just to show how backed up the system is, the six new diesel buses that will be here in the spring are from a previous grant. Transit expects the electric buses to be here sometime in 2024.