Spartanburg public transit study examines future

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SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Spartanburg leaders are looking at how to improve the city’s public transit system. 

When a SPARTA bus rolls up, some of the people getting on have no other option. 

“Getting here to work,” said Latricia Johnson. “I don’t have a car.” 

Like Johnson, Spartanburg leaders said SPARTA bus routes mostly serve people who have to use it. 

“We have very few choice riders,” said Spartanburg Finance Director Dennis Locke. “We have people who have no other way to get to work and their jobs except for public transportation.” 

It’s transportation the city is now closely examining. 

“We’re going to be doing a comprehensive operational analysis of our transit system,” said Locke. 

A community meeting Tuesday gave leaders from different neighborhoods the chance to voice their views. 

City officials said they’re trying to learn what people want from bus routes, scheduling, and hours of operation. 

“Longer hours for running for people that can’t get to work in the evening time,” said Johnson. 

There are currently 8 SPARTA bus routes from 6:00 a.m. to about 6:00 p.m., with some operating on Saturdays. 

“As your community grows, we look at larger cities, they have a more robust transportation system,” said Locke. “Due to the changing of population and demographics, you want to make sure that you’re reaching the right customers.” 

He said it’s been well over a decade since the city has taken such an in-depth look at public transportation. 

“We do want to get more choice riders,” Locke said. “Part of the study will be looking at things such as park and ride for people who want to park their ride some place and catch a bus to save the travel time and save gas expenses.”

Expenses he says will need to be taken into consideration since the majority of funding for SPARTA comes from the federal government. 

They hope to complete the analysis by November 2019.

CLICK HERE to leave comments in the public transit survey. 
 

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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