Burlington City Council moving forward with public bus system

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BURLINGTON, N.C. -- The Burlington City Council awarded a contract Tuesday night to public transportation company Transdev which will operate the city's new public transportation system.

The City Council approved the contract at $868,560 per year. Link Transit is scheduled to begin operations in June. For $1 per ride, bus passengers can travel throughout Burlington and Gibsonville, as well as to Alamance Community College.

Burlington Transportation Director Mike Nunn said there will be half off rates for students, seniors and those with disabilities.

"It's great to hear people's stories as I go out and make presentations about the impacts this will make on their lives, their families, their pocketbooks," he said. "Just access and mobility is the main thing."

Nunn said that Transdev currently operates much of Greensboro's public transportation system and parts of Raleigh's.

He said that riders will be able to purchase a "regional value card" which allows Link Transit users to use public transit in Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point, too.

Heidi Norwick, president of United Way of Alamance County, said her group donated $100,000 to ensure that the route to ACC would be possible.

"United Way is thrilled about the public transportation system," she said. "So many of the nonprofits that we work with and fund have clients that need transportation to get to doctor's appointments, to school, to work, to their child's school and don't have reliable transportation. So this will really spur economic growth."

Some in the Burlington community said the launch of Link Transit would enable them to expand their job searches since they will no longer need to rely on their two feet as the sole means of transportation.

"It opens a lot of possibilities to a lot of people," said Maureen Blair, who is currently without a car but seeking employment. "And gives them a lot of peace of mind to know they can get back and forth if their car breaks down or they can't drive anymore."

For more information on Link Transit, visit linktransit.org.

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