Local News

Fayetteville Transit System To Stop Service In Hope Mills

Posted June 6, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Hundreds of people in Cumberland County are about to lose their rides to work if theFayetteville Area System of Transitstops service to Hope Mills.

Bus rider George Cunard has started a petition asking fellow bus riders to help save Route 20.

"They need this transportation to get to school, get to the doctor, get prescriptions and get groceries," Cunard says. "Right now, I'm looking for work on the bus."

The bus line to Hope Mills started with funding from a grant in November 1998. With that money gone, the city of Fayetteville says it should not have to pay for the entire ride.

"The city is willing to pay for the part in the city limits, but I don't think that it is fair for the taxpayers to pay for another town," says FAST assistant director Connie Fort.

People who live in and around Fayetteville depend on FAST. The transit system has about 1 million riders each year. Twenty buses are in the fleet and they travel nearly four million miles a year.

FAST says it will stop its service June 20 if the county and Hope Mills do not pay their part of the $174,000 bill.

Lillian Naylor says she depends on the bus for her way of life.

"I would not have any job," Naylor says. "I would not have any transportation to get back and forth."

The county, in conjunction with the city, supplemented the grant. County officials say their budget is tight and are looking to find state funds.

Hope Mills has not decided yet if it will contribute.

The city will hold a public hearing on the issue June 19.