First Weeks Rolls Smoothly for JETS

May 11, 2006 – Posted at 4:03 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- Jonesboro's newest form of public transportation, JETS, has been moving along pretty smoothly in its first week of operations.

"The first week has been going very good. We have established routes that we are traveling at this point in time and we've got our drivers that are getting very familiar with the road," said JETS Transportation Coordinator Joel Gardner.

The buses are averaging about 50 riders a day. Many folks are riding who wouldn't be able to get around Jonesboro with out it.

"We would probably be walking somewhere right now if it weren't for these buses because some people don't like to give rides. I really don't have that much money to give people gas, but when I do I give it. I'm glad for the buses," said 19-year-old rider Tia.

With some slight tweaks, the JETS buses are running smoothly...and according to plan.

"We knew that there would be some changes," said Gardner, "What we are doing is addressing each and every one of those changes at a time, and we are making that happen. We're making it best for the community, best for the riders, best for the drivers themselves and the buses."

Riders like Tia and her son Tonto say they will likely become regulars on the bus, something JETS officials are all too happy to hear.

"I will probably be a while from now because I just got a job at Subway and I start tomorrow," smiled Tia.

"We have regular riders now on the para-transit systems that we know once we start charging fairs, will continue to be there as part of the para-transit system. We have regular riders that are part of the fixed route system that have already told us that once we start charging fairs, they will be part of that fixed route system," said Gardner, "So it's been wonderful across the board."

Jonesboro cable channel 24 is now running information about fares, bus routes and schedules.