Columbus City Council working to expand public transportation services

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 5:07 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 8:45 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Columbus City Council members reached an agreement on how to expand services for the METRA Public Service Transportation System. This isn’t the first issue surrounding the system has come up, especially amid the COVID pandemic. The city council wants to expand the services, while the METRA director says the city might need to pump its breaks.

In August, the city council members voted to expand the METRA services throughout the city by one and a half miles, but METRA Director Rosa Evans says not so fast, “because we are federally funded, we have federal mandates.”

Evans says by federal law, METRA is required to provide services for people with disabilities before expanding. She adds Dial-a-Ride services are for those who are mentally and physically disabled. It’s a service that acts like an Uber for certain qualified riders. However, she says with recent issues of staff shortages and COVID circumstances, the system is not operating to expand right now.

Taylor Kronin says her mental disability allows her to ride METRA with a bus pass. She says that if services are not provided, she will be stuck without transportation and a ride to get to her classes at Columbus State University. Kronin and her fellow riders say the council and the METRA must work out any issue to keep buses rolling.

The council decided to continue hiring a consultant to assist with gauging where the city is not and what services are needed. They want the public’s help to access the matter further. We will keep you posted on ways the community can chime in on the debate.