Gadsden County Residents Left Without a Ride

By: Blaine Tolison Email
By: Blaine Tolison Email

In Tallahassee many rely on Star Metro to get around. In Gadsden County, the only public transportation is Big Bend Transit. Now it's cutting back from 150 trips a day to a mere 40, which has caused riders to cut back on their livelihood.

As they told transit service management at the public library, they don't know what they'll do if the bus does not come. For a local nursing home it's the lifeline for several senior citizens.

Alice Sweet with Riverchase Care Center said, "They are our only way of transporting our residents back and forth to the doctor, since we don't have a hospital anymore. All of our residents have to go to Tallahassee, so these cuts are really affecting us a lot."

Why is Big Bend Transit cutting back? They say money is the problem and the service has been over stretching all along--pulling money from reserves which can not be pulled anymore. Big Bend Transit says the cost of transporting in Gadsden is too expensive because it travels from Gadsden County to Tallahassee for services their riders need.

Betty Donaldson, a Big Bend Transit customer said, "With out it, I mean, it's costly to everybody and we could simply die without it. We could live a little longer if we had transportation to get food, clothes."

Big Bend Transit says there are others who can not get to school or work, meaning no jobs and no education for some in Gadsden. And for a county that has seen many rough times, this is one it does not need.

Gadsden County and Big Bend Transit officials were at the meeting today to hear concerns and they will take them into account for future decisions.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by k on Dec 1, 2008 at 11:12 AM
    It is extremely hard to get a ride in Gadsden County if you don't have a vehicle or a close loved one that doesn't mind taking you places. This isn't just for the elderly. I am a 26 year old, working mother of 3. My car broke down. I was forced to basically hitchhike some days because big bend transit wasn't offering the sliding scale fee. I couldn't afford to pay 20 dollars a day for them to take me to work and pick me up.
  • by RAW Location: TALLY on Feb 11, 2008 at 11:19 AM
    Maybe gadsden county would be better off if the people there would pay their bills...A hospital will only close if they run out of money...pay your bills and learn some responsibility...the poor their cry that they are being held down and expect entitlements and handouts...which none are deserving. Why should the gov't help when you dont even help yourselves...
  • by me on Feb 11, 2008 at 11:16 AM
    I agree with ANON. Big Bend Transit should only transport the elderly and handicapped/disabled. Hopefully with the provisions that have been made to cut the trips BBT will make, they will also make provisions on who can use their service, so the ones who have no other options available(those who are not physically able to drive on their own) will not miss out on their trip to town to do what needs to be done.
  • by HOPEFUL IN GADSDEN Location: QUINCY on Feb 11, 2008 at 07:28 AM
    This doesn't surprise me for it to come to the point where Children Are Not Our Future and Senior Citizens Are Our Past which are majority black who seek these type of services. There were Taxi services all around Quincy who served the rural areas. Gadsden had a hospital when there were tobacco, tomato fields, Coca Cola stock that our seniors helped primed the land in this county. It sickens me to have seen the reactions of the Seniors on TV to have these services taken away from them. We have City and Cty Commissioners being paid $250,000 yearly salaries for part-time positions. We already know that it maybe black majority on these seats, however it's still white controlled. Sometimes I wish the whites would still be in office. Maybe we'llstill "Uptown" to go to and not have to travel to Tallahassee to shop. Please do something for our Senior citizens. It's not a black/white issue. It's about the respect for the elderly of Gadsden County. Jesus is in control. He'll work out.
  • by Anon Location: Florida on Feb 11, 2008 at 06:28 AM
    Part of fixing the problem should be restricting Big Bend Transit to the elderly and disabled only. Young people on welfare and to lazy to work should not have BBT at their disposal.
  • by MAD Location: QUINCY on Feb 9, 2008 at 10:47 PM
    Anonymous, you are very ignorant to the fact because these rides are not only for poor people, they help the elderly and disable who can't drive.
  • by Realist Location: N. Florida on Feb 9, 2008 at 10:38 AM
    Seems to me like the real problem is too many people. Lets address the problems rather than the symptoms *for a change*. This article sounds like Big Bend Transit may be taking a step in the right direction be it not necessarily for the best of reason(s).
  • by Anonymous on Feb 8, 2008 at 05:28 AM
    THIS IS VERY SAD THERE ARE WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE WITHOUT TRANSPORTATION HERE I GADSDEN COUNTY. THE GOVERNMENT NEED TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP THIS COUNTY, BECAUSE WITHOUT TRANSPORTATION THERE ARE GOING TO BE BIGGER PROBLEM THE COUNTY WILL HAVE THE FACE...GOVERNOR CHARLIE CAN YOU DO ANYTHING TO HELP THIS COUNTY.
  • by Mary Ann Location: Tallahassee on Feb 8, 2008 at 03:33 AM
    That is a HUGE CUT! With the new property tax amendment I suspect to see more articles like this one even though this article is not related - it shows how much FLORIDA depends on the LITTLE affordable public transportation it does have.
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