BUCKHANNON- Most people don’t ever stop to think about how difficult life could be if you didn’t have one very common thing: a vehicle. But for various people in Upshur County, this is a reality.
Imagine not having a vehicle to drive yourself to the necessary places you go most days; work, school, the grocery store, doctors visits and hospitals. Luckily for Upshur County, there is a service that offers residents a ride to wherever they may need to go.
Laura Ward, director of Country Roads Transit, spoke Thursday in front of the Upshur County Commission to illustrate just how valuable the program is to the community, and ask for their continued support in the upcoming year.
Country Roads Transit is a service that follows a basic route throughout Buckhannon multiple times Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The cost is only $1.50, and riders can be picked up at any of the 38 stops that the vans make along the route.
“This last year we provided 7,341 rides in Upshur County,” Ward said. “Twelve years ago, we started in Upshur County, and we started the same time as Randolph County. When we first began in Upshur County we only had one van. The difference now is the loop van goes by definite route in Buckhannon.”
This service is not just for people inside of city limits. For a small additional fee, Country Roads Transit also offers Demand Response Service where they will drive anywhere within the county to pick people up and take them wherever they may need to go.
“The demand response is also called dial and ride,” Ward continued. “If you need a ride that’s not along the route, or you don’t live along the route, you can call a day in advance and tell us what time you have to be at your destination. We will let you know what time you’ll be picked up, get you there, and once you’re finished you call when you’re done and we will pick up.”
According to Ward, another misconception that most people have is that the program is only for seniors, however everyone is welcome to use the transit system in Upshur County.
“One of the hard things that we’ve had trouble getting across is that Country Roads is a ride for everyone and not just a service for seniors,” she added. “Ridership remains strong amongst people who need to go to medical appointments, shopping is always another one of our big numbers. But we see increase in numbers every year, little by little, in employment and education.
“I commend the Upshur County Commission. They have been our partners since day one and we appreciate that.”
The Upshur County Commission has partnered with Country Roads Transit since the program first began twelve years ago. A budget hearing is planned to be scheduled in March to consider this and other requests.
During the regular meeting, Commissioners also: -Opened and reviewed bid proposals for soil remediation services at the Upshur County Youth Camp Brownfields Cleanup Project. A total of six businesses submitted bid proposals. Commission tabled the item for the Jan. 24 meeting.
-Approved to write and submit a letter of support for any and all permits needed for the continued construction and completion of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
The next regular meeting of the Upshur County Commission will be held at 9 a.m. on Jan. 24.