JETS Launches

Last week we talked about the high price of gasoline… and today we are excited to show you one way you keep from paying those high prices at the pump. The new JETS public transportation program launched last week and we encourage you to take advantage of the service. In fact, during the month of May you can really save on those gas expenses because JETS is offering free rides the entire month.

Consider This:

The Public Transportation debate has been going on for several years and many people in the community who pushed to see this project come to fruition are celebrating now that the buses are finally rolling. There are also many people who continue to say public transportation in Jonesboro is a waste of money and will not succeed. Regardless of which side you fall on, the JETS program is here for several years… at least through 2009.

Funding for the service comes from several sources including 50/50 matching funds from the Federal Transit Department and 80/20 funding from the Arkansas Highway Transportation Dept. Those two sources are responsible for the majority of the project costs. The City of Jonesboro has committed 130,000 dollars per year for 5 years to help fund the program and over 100,000 dollars in additional donations have come from several local businesses.

At one point the project got bogged down… and seemed doomed when Craighead County leaders made the decision not to support the effort. However, shortly after Jonesboro Mayor Doug Formon was elected… the plan was amended to include only city routes and city leaders worked together to approve the necessary funding.

The Federal and State money was going to be spent somewhere and we prefer to see that money invested right here in Region 8. That money would have gone to another community without the financial support of the city and we applaud that decision by the leadership of Jonesboro.  Now, rather than speculating if JETS will fail or succeed, we have several years to see if public transportation is a viable option for Jonesboro.

JETS leaders are shooting for a goal of 5,000 riders per month within the first 6 month. That’s an aggressive number, but  based on our experience today very achievable.