Proposed Greenville County budget would allow Greenlink to extend hours of operation

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A proposed boost in funding for Greenville County’s public transportation would allow buses to operate later each day, helping more people get to and from work.

Greenlink is planning to extend their operation times Monday through Friday from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. if Greenville County Council passes it budget as proposed. This would be a big change for people who work late shifts, especially in the service industry in downtown Greenville. 

James Rice of Greenville works two jobs. His first shift as a dishwasher begins at 8 a.m. He rides Greenlink there.

“I get on the Wade Hampton bus,” Rice said.

He said someone gives him a ride to his second job, working part time at a hospital four or fives days a week. He’s done at 8 p.m. after a 12 hour day. He said he takes a cab home because the Greenlink buses have stopped running for the night. 

“I hate doing it because you know, it’s money,” he said. 

Greenville County Council’s proposed budget would more than triple its funding for Greenlink over the next two years, allowing the buses to run later Monday through Friday. The change would go into effect around October, according to a spokesperson with Greenlink. 

“I believe that’d be wonderful,” Rice said. “I believe I could spend less money.”

Over the past year, Greenlink received $599,000 in funding from council. The proposed budget recommends $2 million for the upcoming fiscal year and $2.5 million for fiscal year 2021.

“Greenlink is so excited about this increase because we’ve been talking about implementing a service enhancement for a long time,” said Nicole McAden of Greenlink. 

She said the boost comes down to the power of the people, who have been advocating for more funding for Greenlink at government meetings. 

“I think the biggest thing is the fact that the community is supporting it,” McAden said.

The $4.5 million proposed still falls $3.5 million short of what the transit authority had requested in the hopes of running buses every 30 minutes rather than hourly. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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