Burlington city leaders considering public transportation

BURLINGTON, N.C. — It’s the state’s 17th largest city and it’s the largest city in this state without public transportation, but that may change.

At Burlington city council’s last work session the city’s transportation planning manager, Mike Nunn, presented public transit ideas to city leaders.

“We’re growing obviously. We’ve got tremendous phone calls and inquiries from people who are moving into the area. Just the cost of owning a car, fuel, getting to jobs, appointments – we really don’t have any public transportation option that’s throughout the day,” said Nunn.

Council members are considering operating public buses that would stop at places like Holly Hill Mall, Alamance Community College, area office complexes and grocery stores.

The city would run six buses 12 hours a day on five routes.  The fair would be a $1.50 and the city expects 70,000 riders a year.

It would cost just under a $1,000,000 a year to run the public transit system.  The city would pay half and a federal grant would pay the other, but when the Mayor asked the City Manager if this could be done without raising taxes – the answer was no.  Council did not plan for it in the budget.

“We got to find a way to find those dollars, but also be creative and efficient as to what the service would be,” said Nunn.