07/26/09 — Hearing to be held on future of GATEWAY van routes

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Hearing to be held on future of GATEWAY van routes

By Steve Herring
Published in News on July 26, 2009 2:00 AM

A public hearing to determine the fate of GATEWAY fixed van routes to Dudley/Mount Olive and Pikeville/Fremont will be held Tuesday during a 10 a.m. meeting of the Goldsboro Wayne Transportation Authority.

The meeting will be held in the anteroom next to the City Council chambers on the second floor of the historic city hall.

The ridership has not materialized on the two routes that were launched April 15. Currently, there are three runs daily to Mount Olive with stops in Dudley and two to Fremont with stops in Pikeville.

"I feel like we can make the Mount Olive route work by making some adjustments," said Alan Stubbs, authority director. "I think we need to put some flexibility into that route to make it work."

Stubbs is expected to suggest adding more stops between Goldsboro and Mount Olive including one at Wal-Mart on N.C. 55. Also, people would be able to call the dispatcher and ask for the van to stop and pick them up.

The trip into Goldsboro would continue the stops at the county courthouse and the transfer center on Beech Street while stops at Wayne Community College, Cox Boulevard and Wayne Memorial Hospital would be discontinued.

The Mount Olive route has generate little traffic at those stops, Stubbs said.

"I don't think we can make the Fremont/Pikeville route work," he said. "I think one person rides occasionally and we just cannot justify that."

Stubbs said he does not want the public to think that the changes signal the end of GATEWAY's county services. People may still call 48 hours in advance to schedule a van. The cost is $4 one way for the service.

Tuesday's hearing also will consider some changes in urban routes.

One stop in particular that will be looked at is one at Edgewood Community Developmental School that is located just a few blocks from the transfer station.

Stubbs said that a number of elderly persons who volunteer as foster grandparents would benefit from the added stop.

"We are not talking any great amount of time or change, but a public hearing has to be held before any changes can be made," he said.