10/01/06 — GATEWAY routes will run earlier

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GATEWAY routes will run earlier

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on October 1, 2006 2:05 AM

Each fixed route of the Goldsboro Area Transportation Express of Wayne County will be adjusted by 15 minutes beginning Monday, officials said.

Goldsboro-Wayne Trans-portation Authority director Stephen Wright said each route during the day will run earlier than usual.

Wright said most routes leave the authority's transfer center on the 45th minute of each hour. Because of that, he said, many Wayne Community College students who use the buses do not get to campus in time for classes that begin at the top of the hour. To accommodate them and other residents, bus routes will leave the transfer center at the half-hour mark.

New route schedules will be made available to residents soon and notices have been placed in the Gateway buses, Wright said.

The time changes will affect all of the transit system's routes, which consist of Berkeley Boulevard, Slocumb Street, Wayne Memorial Drive and the northern end of Wayne County. Passengers can ride on a Gateway bus for $1 per ride, except for children, who ride free of charge.

Fluctuating gas prices won't affect the authority's urban rates, but the prices have had an effect on the county's fares for rural riders during the past several months.

County transportation officials were prepared to increase in-county rural rates by 50 cents and out-of-county rates by $5 in late July if gasoline prices exceeded $3 per gallon.

Since July, gas prices have continued to decrease to a national average of $2.33 per gallon for regular. The Raleigh-area average is slightly lower at $2.30 per gallon.

Gateway rural rates are based on "a sliding scale," Wright said. The price for a rider to use the bus service across the county increases as the price of gasoline climbs at the pumps, he said.

When gas prices exceeded $3 per gallon for a short period in late July and early August, rural passengers paid $8.50 each way for destinations in the county, and $40 for trips outside the county line.

Once gas prices dropped below $3 per gallon, rural rates returned to the authority's flat rate of $8 each way for in-county transportation and $35 per out-of-county trip. Wright said the authority implements a flat rate because it covers the costs incurred by the entire transit system.

For more information on routes and prices, call the Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority at 736-1374.