Columbia Gets Federal Transportation Funds
The new Para Transit buses cost $1 a ride, but they take disabled passengers directly to their destinations. Regular city buses cost only 25 cents a ride, but may not go right to a rider's destination.
"Anytime I have to pay $1 compared to a quarter, it doesn't take a fool to figure out the arithmetic," said Columbia resident Edward Bailey, a self-proclaimed regular rider of public transportation. He says Para Transit's door-to-door service is good, but lower fares would be better.
"With a person with a disability like mine, I don't work, so the dollar is very important to me," Bailey explained.
Para Transit officials said most calls are for rides to doctor appointments and to the supermarket. Columbia will match 20% of the grant, about $50,000.