New transit program helps rural residents - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

New transit program helps rural residents

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A new transit program has launched in Northeast Arkansas geared towards serving people who live in rural areas.

Monday, Oct. 1, the Crowley's Ridge Development Council launched N.E.A.T., the North East Arkansas Transit system to provide transportation opportunities to people in Craighead, Poinsett, Mississippi, Cross, Crittenden, and St. Francis Counties.

Development Council Chief Operation Officer Kera Crafton said the Council wants to expand to Jackson and Woodruff Counties.

Drivers will provide transportation for "shopping, medical, socialization, employment, education and public services."

N.E.A.T. is not a competitor of urban transportation systems JETS and MATA, as it is exclusively for people who live in rural areas of Northeast Arkansas.

The program is funded through a grant from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

Crafton said residents in three counties have used the service the most within the first four days of the program starting. "We're seeing a lot of riders in Crittenden, St. Francis, and Mississippi," Crafton said. "We hope that the ridership in those other counties, we'll see an increase in those as well."

Blytheville resident Virginia Mosley said the program will serve her well on the days she needs a ride to and from her job at McDonald's. "I'm an 18-year employee there, and I will need transportation from time to time," she said.

All one-way trips within the same town cost $2.

Roundtrips within the six participating counties range from $4 to $40.

"The other fares depend on where the pickup and dropoff would be," Crafton said.

For more information call the Crowley's Ridge Development Council at 1-866-336-3691 or (870) 802-7100 or visit the web site at crdcnea.com.

Copyright 2012 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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