Waynesboro wants to gauge interest in public bus service

Story by Chris Graham
freepress2@ntelos.net

Waynesboro is a reasonably sized city with a growing senior and disabled population – and with only limited options for people of any age and physical and mental ability level as far as public transportation is concerned.
An ongoing community-needs survey being conducted by the Waynesboro Disability Services Board could end up changing that fact of life in the River City.

The phone and paper survey is designed to assess the demand for public transportation in Waynesboro.

“The fact that it’s primarily for the elderly and disabled probably got it started, but we knew that there was probably a need for other people – to go to work, for example. We have developed the West End quite a bit, and there are people looking for rides who don’t drive. And we know that there are people looking for rides for legal reasons or personal reasons or medical reasons who don’t drive,” Waynesboro Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator Charlie Downs said in an interview with “The Augusta Free Press Show” today.

Data gathered in the survey – which is being done through the end of the month of January – will be reported back to the Disability Services Board in March. Downs said the board will share its findings later in the year with Waynesboro City Council.

“Every time we’ve brought this issue up with city council, they’ve said to us, Give us some numbers to go on. We hope that this will give us what we need,” Downs said.

Phone surveys started last week, Downs said, and the response from city residents who have been getting the random phone calls has been positive.

Residents can also pick up a paper survey at the city ADA office in the Charles T. Yancey Municipal Building or have one mailed to them by calling the ADA office at 540.942.6718.

Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.

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