CHEROKEE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — A study underway in Cherokee County could pave the way for public transportation.
“We want people to live, work, and play here,” said Frannie Stockwell, the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.
Stockwell said the county is just one of five South Carolina counties without public transportation. She said that could change, depending on this study’s findings.
“A lot of what we see from day to day here at the chamber are people who need transportation to get to medical visits or doctors’ appointments, getting back from, is the biggest problem,” said Stockwell.
Now, county leaders want to hear from people who live in the area, to learn where people go and how they get there. They’re asking people to fill out a survey, as a part of thsi county wide study.
“The study will show us, do we really need to have this project here in Cherokee County, how will it be funded, and what type of transportation is needed,” said Stockwell.
So far, Stockwell said the responses have been great. Stockwell said the chamber contracted RLS & Associates to conduct the survey, public meetings, and more, to gather input and put together a report. A RLS & Associates representative said they’ve received nearly 600 survey responses since it became available.
“The majority is that it’s definitely needed,” said Stockwell.
She said the study will address and consider potential types of transportation.
“It could be scooters, it could be bikes, it could be buses, it could be vanpools,” said Stockwell.
It will also consider the cost of each option and how to fund too. Stockwell said there are federal and state funding opportunities, as well as potential grant programs.
“That money is going to somebody else in South Carolina or other places. We’re not utilizing what we can be utilizing here to help make Cherokee County grow,” said Stockwell.
And as the county grows, Stockwell believes better transportation could help the people who live here and boost businesses too.
“Give people a way to get around to different businesses, shopping, grocery stores, recreations, so all the needs we may have,” said Stockwell.
People can complete the transit feasibility survey through the end of the month.
A RLS & Associates representative said when the survey is complete, they will assess the data, identify needs, and draft a service recommendation. She said it will be presented to community members and both county and city councils. Then, she said they would collect feedback and finalize a report to present in February.