Allocation increased for urban transit program

Anniston Star (AL), 2014-08-15

Aug. 15 --Due to an increase in ridership in the area's urban transit system, the Calhoun County Commission on Thursday increased the amount of money it gives to the area's urban transit program by 6 percent from last year.

At its regular meeting, the commission approved a one-year contract with the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission for $53,567 toward the flexible-route public transportation system. The program uses wheelchair-equipped vans to pick up disabled or elderly residents as an on-call service. Shane Christian , the program's administrator, said the increase in operating costs arises from fuel and maintenance costs, but was mostly related to an increase in people using the program in recent years.

Christian said ridership has grown not only for the pickup service, but also for the county's fixed-route system, which operates four bus routes daily. Christian did not have numbers available with him at Thursday's commission meeting, but said the system has seen a steady increase in riders during the last seven years during which time the routes increased from three to four.

"When we had three buses, if we had 5,000 riders a month, that was a good month," Christian said. "Now if we get 11,000 riders, you know, that's basically normal."

The commission on Thursday also extended a contract with Christy Burns Shirley to continue as the county's liaison with the Calhoun County Jail and the district attorney's office. The contract is for three years and pays $15.97 an hour for a 32-hour work week.

In other business, the commission:

-- Honored state Rep. Randy Wood and state Sen. Del Marsh , both in attendance, on behalf of the Alabama County Commission Association for their working relationship with the commission. Marsh and Wood told the commission they had never had a problem with the local government during their tenure in Montgomery .

-- Vacated an unnamed alley in Mechanicsville at the request of the property's owners Wayne Salers and Ida and Nelson Jackson .

-- Accepted maintenance of right of ways on Quintell Avenue and Herman Ridge Drive , as well as for recently added turn lanes on Lenlock Lane and Saks Road .

-- Passed nuisance abatements on 114 Monsanto Road and 1208 Lenlock Lane in Anniston and 1394 Vigo Ladiga Road in Piedmont .

-- Declared nuisance properties on 435, 331 and 316 54th Street in Anniston .


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