VALDOSTA -- Thanks to increased ridership on the Lowndes County public transportation system, the Board of Commissioners learned Tuesday the state will provide an additional bus to satisfy demand.

County Engineer Charlie Clark told the Board that the Department of Transportation would provide Lowndes County with a fourth bus after the public transit system eclipsed an average of 2,000 riders per month.

Clark said the three buses -- managed by third-party operator MIDS -- each averaged 775 riders per month. Lowndes County will be responsible for matching 10 percent of the total cost, in this case $3,820.

Originally, MIDS operated a countywide route system, but abandoned that plan in the face of flagging ridership. However, the company's demand-response system, where residents can arrange a ride 24-hours in advance for minimal cost, has thrived. Social service riders, whose cost is underwritten by the state, have also been an important factor in the system's success.

In fact, demand has been so strong in recent months that County Manager Joe Pritchard said MIDS officials requested the county wait to roll out a promotion campaign until the new bus arrives.

The Board also approved changes to the county's subdivision regulations designed to clarify traffic control responsibilities in new developments. The new regulations put responsibility for site security and traffic control during construction on the developer or owner. The regulations require developers to install traffic control signals as part of construction and that those signs must meet national standards.

In other business, Commissioners:

Unanimously approved an agreement with Hulsey, McCormick and Wallace for professional services for groundwater sampling, analysis and statistical evaluation for the Clyattville Municipal Solid Waste Landfill post-closure case in the amount of $49,150;

Unanimously appointed the county engineer and county manager as the "Board of Appraisers" for the Corey Drive special assessment paving project;

Unanimously approved a request for a local development concurrence for the Kingston Estates water system;

Received a petition to consider abandoning parts of Spain Ferry and Kinderlou-Clyattville roads. A public hearing on the closure will take place at a future meeting, and

Approved an alteration to the county credit card policy to issue purchasing cards to select county employees.



To contact reporter Bill Roberts, please call 244-3400, ext. 245.

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