Aiken reviewing flaws in current public transit system

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken city leaders are looking for the flaws in public transportation.

After more than a decade, the city decided it’s time to re-evaluating the current transit system.

The city wants to make the bus system more efficient, but to do that leaders need to figure out what’s working and what’s not. However starting the conversation hasn’t been simple, because many people haven’t made it a priority to attend the public input sessions.

Hykeem Harris rides the Best Friend Express everyday to get to work.

Paying his $2 dollar fare seems simple enough, but if he doesn’t time out his day right he won’t be making it where he needs to go.

“I’ve missed the bus because it came to early or because it came a little late,” Harris told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

The Lower Savannah Council of Governments is using public input and survey’s to gather information on ways to improve Aiken’s public transportation.

“We are looking at a number of different things,” said Executive Director William Molnar. “Be it social, be it education, or be it workforce on how to get people from one place to another.”

“How long does the bus ride take?” Asked NewsChannel 6’s Stefany Bornman.

“About 45 minutes without the transfer and then transfer is about an hours,” said Betty Duskin, a frequent user of the Best Friend Express.

Duskin gave up driving and now she depends on the bus to get to her job in Downtown Augusta.

The transfer is Langley just makes her day that much longer, but it does gives her a chance pickup some groceries.

Still, just like Harris she’s been left behind, because there aren’t actual bus stops in Aiken. If you’re going to catch the bus you have to make sure that they see you, and the only way to do that is by waving them down.

Adding more routes and direct routes is one solution that has been considered, because for many people this is the only way they get around.

“More frequent stops. Start a little earlier, end a little later that would be nice.” Harris said.

The city has considered adding a direct route from Aiken to Project Jackson, once it opens, and one from downtown Aiken to the Aiken Mall.

There is still time to submit your ideas through a survey, click here to take it.  

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