Kenbridge supports bus system

Published 8:43 am Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Town of Kenbridge will continue to support the local bus service.

Mayor Emory Hodges said during the council’s Tuesday, March 15, meeting, that the town’s assistance is essential to the service. Kenbridge put $5,400 a year into the bus system, including something insurance.

“If we get out the whole thing may collapse,” Hodges said.

The system had 261 riders in February, the council said.

Blackstone Area Bus System and Piedmont Area Transit provide public transportation for the residents of Blackstone, Nottoway, Amelia, Buckingham, Cumberland, Prince Edward, Brunswick and Lunenburg, the Blackstone Area Bus website states.

“Public transportation is vital in Southside Virginia as many people rely on it as their only form of transportation to doctor’s appointments, work and health care,” the website stated. “For every $1 a community spends on public transportation, $3 is generated throughout the community.”

Kenbridge council members said the service is used, but not to capacity. “I’ve never seen the bus completely empty,” councilwoman Cathy Gilley said. “Not full, either.”

“Public transportation offers mobility options for millions of Americans. However, for residents of small urban and rural areas, access to public transit still needs to be greatly expanded,” states the American Public Transportation Association.

“Although great strides have been made in the last decade to provide more transportation choices, much more support is needed for these communities.”

Meanwhile, the need for public transportation in general is expected to increase as Virginia sees its population increase by nearly 3 million people between 2010 and 2040, states the Virginia Statewide Public Transportation and Transportation Demand Management Plan of January 2014.