Community Transit System Is Gaining Support

September 03, 2004--Posted at 6:00 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO--Supporters of a community transit system here in Craighead County made their voice heard today as they marched to the City Clerk's office to deliver petitions with over 4,000 names.

The goal is to get this issue on the November ballot.

Now if this issue does in fact make it on the November ballot, voters will have the opportunity to say yes or no to a three year trial run to community transportation in Craighead County.  Steve Ewart is the chairman for the Northeast Arkansas Transit Authority.  "Initially it would be a beginning stage process, but the buses would seat 19-20 passengers with wheel chair access. It would have bike racks on the front so that we could serve the greatest number of people,"said Ewart.

In the beginning, members of the Northeast Arkansas Transit Authority would concentrate their services on the people and places that need the most attention. Young people who can't get to after school activities, elderly people who can't get to all the activities that they deserve, and look at the university students who can't get to where they need to go.

Jake Hampton is the student government association president at ASU. He says a large number of international students, and students from out of state don't have vehicles, making it more difficult to get around town. "By us supporting this initiative, those students will have a way to get around town, to go to the movies, to stop by wal-mart, or stop by the grocery stores,"said Hampton.

If this issue does pass, officials are proposing to pay for the system with general funds that currently exist.