06/22/04 — Gateway read to turn keys over to Apple Bus

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Gateway read to turn keys over to Apple Bus

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on June 22, 2004 2:01 PM

The Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority is ready to turn over the keys, as of July 1.

Paul Larson, an official with Apple Bus Co., told Gateway's board Monday afternoon that his company is prepared to assume management of the public bus and van service next month.

The board also elected Goldsboro Councilman Bob Waller as its chairman for the next year. Councilman Jimmy Bryan was chosen as vice chairman.

Earlier this month, the authority approved a three-year contract with Apple Bus. The company met last week with Gateway's drivers and other employees to explain the company's practices, Larson said.

The meeting was positive and allowed employees to ask questions, he added.

Larson isn't worried as long as the company holds on to current employees. "The basics never change -- you need a driver who knows where he's going," he said, adding, "We do see this as capturing an opportunity, rather than fixing a problem."

He encouraged the board members to make a visible show of support for the bus system.

"It'd be a huge boost to morale if a few of you could take the time to ride a route occasionally," he said.

Based in Missouri, Apple Bus Co. operates several transportation services nationwide. It has managed a system similar to Gateway in Rocky Mount and Nash and Edgecombe counties. Apple Bus has managed Wilson County's public transportation system since last July.