Shuttle Transportation Program Introduced

| October 8, 2015

Valdosta

VALDOSTA — The Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS), in partnership with the Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC) will begin a pilot shuttle program geared toward reducing barriers in transportation for those seeking integration into the workforce and full participation in society. The pilot program will end on June 30, 2016.

Since Valdosta was designated a Metropolitan Area in 2000, there has been a growing demand for a public transportation system. Currently, the demand response 5311 service in Lowndes County has met this need, for a small fee. The Pilot Shuttle Program will use DHS 5317 “New Freedom” funds, which aim to provide additional tools to overcome existing barriers facing Americans with disabilities seeking integration into the work force and full participation in society. The route was selected to meet these criteria, based on an Environmental Justice Study conducted by students at VSU, which examined vehicular access, English proficiency, age distribution, income and poverty, race, and educational attainment as defined and measured by the U.S. Census.

The shuttle will begin the route at 8:00 a.m. near the Mildred M Hunter Community Center and will follow the same loop every hour ending back near the Mildred M Hunter Community Center until 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. The shuttle is free to clients who fill out the mandatory registration form completely, and present the accompanying Client ID Card once they have been registered. DHS and the SGRC will work to ensure that the program provides accurate data that might be used in identifying the need for a shuttle or other type of urban transportation system in Valdosta. This data includes the total number of clients registered and daily ridership statistics.

Route addresses are approximate and subject to change:

700 Block Jefferson St (Mildred M Hunter Community Center)

717-727 Gil Harbin Industrial Blvd (Second Harvest/Industrial Park)

1715 River Street (Wal-Mart Shopping Center)

1000 St Augustine Rd (Goodwill/Hobby-Lobby)

1840 Norman Drive (Valdosta Mall)

31056 Cowart Ave (Library/SGMC)

111 S Ashley Street (Downtown/Labor Dept./Health Dept.)

Free, hourly looped shuttle service beginning October 15th, 2015 through June 30, 2016 for people in Valdosta-Lowndes County. Riders must complete the Client Registration form (name, address, sex, gender, ethnicity, and race), and present their Client ID card in order to ride. The shuttle will run Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm, beginning and ending near the Mildred M Hunter Community Center, 700 Block Jefferson St., in Valdosta.

For more information, contact Southern Georgia Regional Commission, Transit and Mobility Coordinator, JD Dillard; jdillard@sgrc.us; phone 229-333-5277

Southern Georgia Regional Commission Release

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