02/01/08 — GATEWAY considers cutting its hours

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GATEWAY considers cutting its hours

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on February 1, 2008 1:46 PM

Those few county residents who rely on the Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority's van service to get them to and from work on Saturday night and Sunday may soon have to find an alternate method if the board of directors decides to cut back its hours.

No decision, though, will be made until after a public hearing scheduled for 3 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 26.

"It's just due to lack of ridership," GATEWAY Director Alan Stubbs said.

Currently, city buses run from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. They do not run on Sunday.

The van service, which is offered on an appointment basis all throughout the county, including inside city limits, runs from 4 a.m. until midnight, Monday through Sunday -- one of the few surrounding systems that offers full weekend service.

Under Stubb's proposal, however, the new Saturday hours would be 4 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Sunday hours would be cut out completely.

"The few people we do have at that time are going to and from work," he said. "But we're only getting about one rider per hour.

"That's no way to support this. We're not trying to make money, but we are trying to meet expenses as close as we can."

"I know you've got to serve the people, but you've also got to look at the costs," added authority board member and county finance director Pam Holt.

But the members of the board also cautioned that they don't want to leave people stranded.

"My concern is that we don't want to leave the community in a lurch without some method of transportation during that time period," board Chairman Bruce Gates said.

After setting the public hearing, Stubbs also reminded the board members that they're still looking for businesses to advertise on their buses and vans.

He explained that while the buses seem to be fairly popular, the vans also provide a good opportunity because of their range and the cheaper cost. He asked that anyone interested in exploring the possibility, call him at 736-1374.