Coast RTA officials addressed 20 Horry County residents Wednesday night to inform them about a reduction to the agency’s door-to-door service.
It was the first of two public comment meetings to present data and get public insight on how to proceed. The reduction is set to begin May 1.
The service, called Coast Transit Plus, has been in place for four years and utilized mainly by passengers with medical disabilities.
But with rising costs and a difficult economy, the service was determined to not be financially viable after officials looked at data.
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Fewer than 300 people have used the service since July 2011, according to Coast records.
Coast officials want to continue offering service to those with medical disabilities, and hope to have a plan in place so there’s no temporary stoppage on May 1.
Still, Loris resident Susan Morgan is thinking about what to do in case the service is interrupted.
Morgan’s daughter, Ginette, is in a wheelchair and has used CTP for six months to get to classes at Miller-Motte Technical College.
Both were at Wednesday’s public meeting to get some questions answered.
Ginette Morgan admitted she was upset when she got a letter stating the service was being restructured.
Susan Morgan said they have an application to ensure her daughter can continue taking a Coast shuttle to school.
However, the service she’d have to use stops running at 3 p.m., which is 10 minutes after Ginette Morgan’s classes end, her mother said.
“Maybe they (Miller-Motte) could make her up a bed,” Susan Morgan joked.
She added she may have to take her daughter to class for a while if a new option isn’t in place by May 1 for CTP riders with disabilities.
Felicia Beaty, a Coast RTA official, gave a presentation breaking down CTP’s ridership since July 1, 2011 through Wednesday.
Only 225 people have used the service in the period, which equals approximately 5,828 trips at a cost of $378,820 to Coast.
The CTP service charges riders $6 per trip, compared to $1.50 for the fixed route service.
Of that total number of riders, 104 people used CTP for medical reasons, 77 for pleasure, 25 for work and 19 for school, Beaty said.
Coast officials reiterated to the crowd no decisions have been made on how to replace CTP, and part of the reason for holding the public meetings was to get input and suggestions on how to proceed.
Another public meeting is set for April 17 at Myrtle Beach City Hall.