The wheels on the bus go around and around, but not as often as they used to. Local citizens relying on public transportation say they are being shortchanged by funding cuts.
Perry Resident Ruby Jane Britt is working on her GED and depends on the Big Bend Transit Shuttle to go to and fro every week day.
Starting December 4th, the shuttle is reducing service to three days a week instead of five.
"How am I going to get to school and do my shopping? All of my children are grown and I don't have a way of getting around,” she says. “They are grown and work on their jobs. I just had surgery on my ankle. So how am I supposed to be getting where I need to go?”
Last year, the shuttle made more than 11,000 trips in Taylor County, nearly 5000 in Gadsden and 3200 in Jefferson County.
Transit officials say services are being shortened in all three counties because of budget cuts.
Theresa Delamaitei, who is also a frequent shuttle rider says of the news, "That's too bad because it makes it hard on these other people that count on this bus. It would be nice to keep it the way it is now."
Many riders say they would like for the shuttle to run seven days a week. So, going from five to only three days, they say, is devastating.
“It helps me a lot to get to work because I don't have any transportation, a car or anything,” Betty Ann Mingo says. “I can always catch the shuttle because it comes right by my house."
The new schedule will be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
The reduced schedule goes into effect Monday for all three counties.
Transit officials say the shuttle will completely stop for Gadsden County at the end of February.
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