The city of Warner Robins is considering a public transit system. It is now studying costs, since routes have already been investigated. In their deliberations, City Council should consider the cost of not developing a transit system in a city that’s growing like a weed after a summer’s thundershower. Transit will help that record growth continue.
There are three main reasons Warner Robins needs a public transportation system. Transit is not just a publicly-funded system to move poor people from Point A to Point B. Public transit is actually an economic development tool. Businesses need workers and workers need transportation to work. With the price of gas today, there are a number of residents who would gladly park their vehicles and hop on a bus or van.
In a study released Tuesday, U.S. Prig, a not-for-profit advocacy organization, shows that Americans are driving less, particularly among millennials, who may not even phave a driver’s license. While traffic is the bane of many Warner Robins commuters’ existence, transit could help take some of the vehicles that now clog Watson Boulevard and Russell Parkway off the roads. In an experiment that seems to be working, the Macon Transit Authority provides commuter service from Macon to Robins Air Force Base. Instead of those vehicles clogging Ga. 247, they are parked, at a location other than the base. And that leads to the third reason transit should be considered: Parked vehicles don’t pollute, and air quality is important to Air Force brass.
It’s true that many transit systems lose money, but through innovative routes and special lanes for shuttles to the base during specific time periods, some of that worry could be mitigated. Still, a loss in the transit area would be more than made up by other benefits.
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Warner Robins isn’t a quiet little “burb” anymore, but a hustling, bustling city of 68,000 and home to Georgia’s largest employer. Houston County is projected to grow by 8.24 percent by 2016. Much of that growth will come to Warner Robins. In a city on the move, with more than 85 percent driving to work alone, a better alternative just might be public transportation.