April 12, 2006 – Posted at 4:53 p.m. CST
JONESBORO, AR -- The first buses for the Jonesboro Economical Transit System are getting ready to go. It will be the first public transportation system in Jonesboro and as the final touches are being made, Region 8 is gearing up.
It's not something that you see on most public transportation, but the new JETS buses feature seatbelts. Equipped to hold between 16 and 20 riders, the new buses have all the bells and whistles.
"We've got a lot of work to do before we are done," said Jonesboro Transportation Coordinator Joel Gardner, "We've have to finish programming the computer system on board that takes tells us what our destinations are and where the buses are going to be heading. There are just a lot of small things that have got to be completed to get this thing rolling."
Routes will zig zag across the city, hitting all the high points including the new Mall at Turtle Creek and both hospitals. Those paying at the pump could have a much cheaper alternative.
"A round trip for us is going to be $2. For seniors, it's going to be $.50 in each direction and for students it's going to be $.75," said Gardner.
The buses are funded through community donations, city subsidies and federal and state grants. The city plans to start with five buses and then add another three next year.
The buses are expected to roll out on May 4th and they'll offer free fares until June 1st. The buses will run from 5:30 a.m. to 7:00p.m.on Monday through Friday and then on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. They will not operate on Sunday.