Moultrie Observer

Local News

December 5, 2012

Public transportation gets foothold in Moultrie

MOULTRIE — Those buses seen around town with SWGA Regional Transit markings are part of transportation that is already available to the public here and could expand.

Destiny Transportation’s Barry Richardson says Moultrie is “ahead of the game” when it comes to trying to expand available public transportation. He travels throughout south Georgia and says he has noticed signs of economic growth in Colquitt County.

Richardson, public relations manager for the Albany-based firm, will be in Moultrie throughout the week encouraging residents to participate in a survey that could determine the transportation needs Destiny and the City of Moultrie are trying to meet in a joint effort. Destiny already has 10 buses that are being used by Moultrians.

“Things are looking pretty good for Moultrie,” Richardson said, noting that senior citizens, the young and folks trying to get back and forth from work are using the services now offered.

Moultrie officials tried five years ago to get a transportation service here, but that effort bogged down. Destiny and Moultrie City Council in April announced a partnership agreement that was aimed toward expanding transportation services from the new Moultrie Intermodal Transportation Facility at Second Street and First Avenue Southeast.

“We’ve been working hand in hand with the city,” Richardson said. “Our goal is to meet the needs here.”

Destiny is leasing the facility from the city for office space and parking. And the phones are ringing in that office.

Residents must call Destiny 24 hours in advance to arrange a pickup. A one-way trip costs $3 and $1.50 for the elderly. Two-way trips cost $6, only $3 for the elderly. Destiny buses run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and also make trips to Elllenton, Berlin, Norman Park, Funston and Doerun. The cost for travel in the county is 50 cents per mile extra for each mile outside a 10-mile radius from Moultrie.

Richardson said the 22-question survey that stemmed from meetings with United Way and several groups and organizations will tell them what is needed most. Among the possibilities is a bus route system with marked stops throughout the city. But progress is slow.

“But that’s all right because it gives us time to make sure it’s done right,” Richardson said, noting failed efforts years ago. “It’s my job to make sure it works for everyone.”

Destiny operates in a five-county area under Southwest Georgia Regional Transport, which is governed by the state. Destiny was founded 12 years ago. It employs 15 drivers in Moultrie.

Richardson said the economy and gas prices have led younger citizens and the employed to use its services to get to college or get to work. Medicaid does pay for services for those eligible.

Interested persons on Medicaid should call Logisticare which arranges the trips with Destiny. Logisticare can be reached at 888-224-7985. Medicaid will pay for medical-related trips to a doctor’s office and to a pharmacy.

Richardson said the route system being proposed could begin with several routes to determine what is most effective. Separate buses would handle appointments made by phone. Also being considered in the future is a shuttle service to connecting Greyhound terminals in Albany and Tifton.

He stressed the need for citizens to complete the survey to determine the focus of upcoming meetings with the city and other agencies and organizations.

“The survey is to give us the feedback to see where the needs are,” Richardson said.

 

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