Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

August 9, 2008

Valdosta gets ready to ride with transit system

VALDOSTA — After much planning and several meetings, the city of Valdosta’s transit system plan is well under way to develop a more efficient public transportation system to address the needs of Georgia’s 10th largest city.

Though a great amount of planning has been done, the city of Valdosta still has several steps to take during the development of the city’s transit system, including types and size of buses, location of pick-up points, and funding.

However, the city hopes to see buses rolling in as early as 18 months as federal funds have already been applied for, according to Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Coordinator, Corey Hull.

“The next step is to hire a consultant to perform the actual implementation study or report. The MPO is in the process to do this. The study or report will be detailed to show routes, the number of buses, personnel, maintenance and other pertinent information,” said Hull.

Over 18 months ago a feasibility study was conducted, and it was clear from the consultant point of view that a transit system would be beneficial to the urbanized area, according to City Engineer Von Shipman. The MPO is taking the lead on the city of Valdosta’s transit system project since it will involve the use of federal funds to cover a portion of the cost.

“The current effort to implement a public transit service in Valdosta has been in active for about five years. In 2006,

the Valdosta-Lowndes Metropolitan Planning Organization conducted a study to determine the feasibility of implementing transit services in the Valdosta Urbanized Area,” said Hull. “This study found that the introduction of transit service would have a fairly high probability of success based on ridership potential and public desire for transit services for access to work, shopping and medical trips. During the hiring of a consultant to aid in the development of the transit plan, we will be seeking public participation on final route and stop locations, marketing strategies and operations plans.”

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