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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