WARNER ROBINS -- A draft plan for a public transit system in Warner Robins and Perry estimates the annual operating cost at $2.2 million, with about $884,000 coming from local tax dollars.
The rest would come from federal dollars and fares. It estimates daily ridership at 1,542 rider trips, which would be expected to generate $473,900 in fares annually. The rest of the annual operating cost would be split evenly between federal and local funds, estimated to be $884,550 each.
Standard fares would be $1.25 per trip, with seniors and the disabled paying 60 cents, while anyone 18 and under would pay 75 cents.
The plan calls for four main routes in Warner Robins. One would run along Watson Boulevard from Centerville to Robins Air Force Base. The others would run along much of Davis Drive, Russell Parkway and South Houston Lake Road. The South Houston Lake Road route would be extended with another route that would go into Perry. The routes would operate hourly Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Two other separate routes would operate as park-and-ride routes running from Perry and Byron to the base.
The plan is spelled out in a draft of a public transit study presented in a public hearing at Warner Robins City Hall on Wednesday night. Only a handful of residents showed up to review the route maps and proposed figures.
Perrin Love and Paula Barnes, who both work at the base, were enthused about the proposal and said they would use the buses. They both said they have cars but would rather ride the bus and avoid the hassle of driving and dealing with traffic.
Love said the taxpayer expense is justified because of the benefits it could provide.
It would cut down on some traffic, she said. This is something we have been long waiting for.
The study was done by Atkins North America and Connetics Transportation Group for the Warner Robins Area Transportation Study, an organization that looks at transportation issues in the Warner Robins area.
Steve Noble, a senior transportation for Atkins, emphasized the figures in the plan are estimates. Given enough time, however, the ridership projections are realistic, he said.
The plan was developed after a series of public hearings and information gathering in recent months. It will now be up to a transit committee, made up of representatives of governments in the study area, to look at the proposal and decide whether to proceed with implementation of some or all of the plan.
A 30-day comment period will be held first to gather public comments.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256.9725.