JETS on Ballot for Jonesboro Voters

JONESBORO, AR -- In November the issue of the city of Jonesboro helping subsidize the JETS program will be on the ballot.  The city helps support the program with $130,000.

"It's one of the greatest things that ever happened to me because I can't drive.  I have a seizure disorder and I'm disabled, so it takes me to the places I need to go," said bus rider Bobby Liles.

Bobby Liles is one of about three hundred people in the city of Jonesboro who catches the bus with the Jonesboro Economic Transit System every day.

"I would say they're your average run of the mill citizens between the ages of 30 and 50 years old," said JETS advertising and marketing representative Tawana Bailey.

A lot of the riders say without the bus system they don't have many other choices.  For some that choice used to be a cab.

"My mother was actually paying just to go to work and that ate up half her check.  Either you're walking from Johnson to Wal-Mart or you're paying $16," said bus rider Earlene.

There are four lines that run through the city.  JETS has added two more buses brining their total to eight and they are prepared for more riders.  Gas prices are expected to continue to rise over the summer and more people may be parking their own cars and stepping onto one of the buses.

"With gas prices I've seen a lot of people with cars who say they'll ride the bus because it will save money," said Earlene.

This program costs about $1.3 million a year and if reapproved by the city they will pitch in $130,000 to help subsidize the program.

"Every little bit helps and it would also help us to be an entity of the city.  I still feel that JETS will be able to function and move on and still provide a service to our citizens," said Bailey.