12/21/08 — Gateway orders bus; advisory board next

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Gateway orders bus; advisory board next

By Steve Herring
Published in News on December 21, 2008 2:00 AM

The Goldsboro/Wayne Transportation Authority (GATEWAY) Tuesday agreed to enter into a contract with the state to obtain about $26,000 to help pay for the $325,000 bus the system has ordered.

Federal funds will pay the lion's share, about $270,000, of the cost. Another $29,000 will be funded locally.

It will be about a year before the 35-foot, 32-seat bus will arrive and be put into service. Unlike the system's current vehicles, the bus won't have a lift for wheelchairs. Rather, a ramp at the front of the bus can be lowered for easier and more convenient wheelchair access, said Alan Stubbs, authority director.

The full-size bus, Stubbs said, should help people to better realize that the system is indeed a true public transportation system.

Once the bill for the bus is received, GATEWAY will be able to draw down the federal portion of the funding.

An invoice will be sent to the state for its portion.

Along with a new bus, GATEWAY is in the process of appointing a 20-member Transportation Advisory Board. The board is being required by the federal government.

The board will provide input on what members feel the public is looking for, seek public involvement and provide administrative oversight, Stubbs said.

It is not a governing board.

GATEWAY board members John Forbes, Bob Waller and John Bell and Stubbs also will serve on the advisory board.

That, Stubbs said will help keep the two boards in touch.

"Five other advisory board members will be actual bus riders so we can get input as to what they'd like for us to do," Stubbs said.

The advisory board will represent a demographic representation of the county, Stubbs said.

The GATEWAY board meets on the last Tuesday of every other month and the meeting is in January. The advisory board will meet on the Thursday before the board meetings.

Stubbs noted that the city is growing and that GATEWAY wants to possibly add a fifth route next year.,

"We want to cover the areas that need transportation," he said.

All routes are excepted to be changed within the next year. A consulting firm is looking at the routes and the authority's total operation, Stubbs said.