The nearly 13-year-old Pulaski Area Transit will return Sept. 4 to being a fixed route service.
Transit Program Assistant Candice Draper reported the change Tuesday night to Pulaski Town Council.
“This is a big change for Pulaski Area Transit,” Draper told council. “We’re excited about it; our drivers are excited about it and we’re hoping to get town residents just as excited about it.”
Draper explained the transit will now operate with two fixed routes throughout the town – Route A and Route B.
The two routes will merge at two different transfer points on either end of town – one located at Dollar General in the Maple Shade Shopping Plaza and the other at Walgreens on Memorial Drive and Route 11. At these points, riders can transfer from one route to the other.
“Our goal is to eliminate wait times for riders,” Draper told council. “Right now, we have over an hour wait times for town residents, which is steep and uncalled for, and riders are getting frustrated.”
Draper said the transit is also hoping to be able to accommodate more people, while better meeting the needs of those it already serves.
“We’re looking at having a bus at each stop every 30 minutes,” said Draper.
“We’ve worked it out so that the buses arrive at the transfer points at the same time,” Draper explained. “Residents transferring won’t have to pay a separate charge. They will be given a transfer card to transfer to the other bus without an additional fee.”
While the PAT will move back to its original fixed route service model, some things won’t change. Riders, according to Draper, will still be able to purchase for $20 a monthly pass that allows for unlimited rides.
“A lot of riders take advantage of this, not only for the town route, but for the Dublin fixed route as well,” Draper said. She added the current fixed route to Dublin will continue unchanged.
The hours the transit operates will change, Draper said, to better benefit riders. She said PAT will start 30 minutes earlier each day, at 6:30 a.m. and extend to 5:30 p.m. when buses arrive at the two transfer points for the last stop of the day. Saturday hours are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The fare for fixed route service within the town is still 75 cents.
Draper said that disabled citizens can apply for ADA complementary service by completing an application at the PAT office.
“If they qualify due to physical, cognitive or visual impairment they will qualify for ADA service which will be a separate bus that can pick them up at their homes and take them to their destination,” Draper noted.
Councilman Jamie Radcliffe told Draper he was glad that PAT is going back to the fixed route service after he said he had heard and observed instances of “two or three buses following each other.”
“You’ve worked that out, and you do a great job,” Radcliffe said.
Councilman Joseph Goodman asked about town residents riding the transit to Walmart.
Draper said the fixed route from town to Walmart, which runs four times a day now will continue unchanged.
Stops on the two routes are:
Route A – Dollar General (Maple Shade), Fast Shop 1, Tom’s Drive-In, Kiwanis Park, Medical Arts, Community Action, 5th and N. Washington, Poor Boys, Meadowview Apartments, Fast Shop 2, Washington Square, YMCA, Skyline Circle, Walgreens and LewisGale Hospital Pulaski.
Route B – Dollar General (Maple Shade), National Bank (Downtown), Agency on Aging, Senior Center, Budget Inn, Subway, McDonalds, Hardees, Family Dollar, Food Lion, Laurel Wood Apartments, Food City, CVS, Ollie’s, Magic Mart, Pulaski Village and Walgreens.
Contact the transit at 980-5040.
By MIKE WILLIAMS, The Patriot