Pulaski transit going to fixed routes

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

After more than a decade of providing “on demand” service, Pulaski Area Transit (PAT) is switching to fixed routes Sept. 4.

“Our goal is to eliminate the wait times. Right now, we have over an hour wait time some days,” said Candace Draper, PAT program assistant.

With on demand service, the customer calls to have a transit bus pick them up at their location. Fixed routes require the patron to go to a bus stop for pick up.

Draper said hour or more wait times are too long and “uncalled for.” She says customers are getting frustrated.

By switching to fixed routes, PAT staff hopes to serve more people, as well as meet the needs of clients they already serve.

“It’s going to be a big change for Pulaski Area Transit, but we’re excited about it, our drivers are excited about it, and we’re hoping to get town residents just as excited about it,” Draper told members of Pulaski Town Council Tuesday.

Under the new system, PAT will have two fixed-routes, green and blue, with connecting points on each end of town: Dollar General on Commerce Street and Walgreens on Memorial Drive. Transfer points are areas where a rider can transfer from the blue to green route, or vice versa.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, a transit bus should be at each stop along the two routes every 30 minutes. That would put a blue route bus and green route bus at the transfer points simultaneously.

Customers transferring from one route to the other will receive a transfer pass, enabling them to continue riding at no additional cost. The fare is 75 cents.

Draper said some things are not changing.

For instance, monthly passes allowing for unlimited rides for $20 per month are still available, as is the Dublin fixed route that leaves from Pulaski Hardees each morning.

An Americans With Disabilities ACT (ADA) “Complementary Paratransit bus” provides service to citizens with physical, cognitive or vision impairment. These clients are still able to call PAT to schedule a pick up.

Citizens over 60 years of age and disabled citizens who live within three-quarters of a mile outside of the transit routes will not “drop through the cracks,” Draper assured council. They can arrange for a senior shuttle or medical transportation already available.

PAT’s hours are changing though. The service will begin operations half-hour earlier, at 6:30 a.m., and closes half-hour later, 5:30 p.m. Calls for same-day service will not be taken after 4:30 p.m.

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