On Friday Bob and I heard a presentation put on by Greenlink, the Greenville bus line. Really interesting. They have made lots of changes in the last couple years under the leadership of a new woman manager. We were surprised at how complicated the funding is from Federal, State, county and city sources plus some business and organizations support and the rules on the various grants that are available. A very complicated business.
They have 740,000 riders a year and drive over 600,000 miles a year on 10 plus bus routes that run 5:30 a.m. -7:30 p.m. Mon. through Sat. They are getting 9 new busses this summer at a cost of $355,000 each and a bus lasts about 12 years.
I knew that customers paying the fare didn’t cover the cost but I didn’t know it only contributed about 23% of the budget. In addition to people they also transport each month about 600 bikes and 400 wheelchairs that the riders have.
Definitely a difficult business to manage when you have to juggle the needs and wants of the riders, the route, staff, safety, security and budget as well as the large maintenance challenges of the busses and bus shelters. They recently put in over 30 new bus shelters and had many of them damaged by vandals, who they have not caught. How sad.
I am not a bus rider but you can bet that now that I am better educated I will do my part to verbally support their efforts.