Kudos to transportation plan

Jun. 19, 2013 @ 04:15 AM

In January, the Rutherford County Transit Authority began looking at ways to help more people in need.

After an initial investigation, Transportation Services Director Kerry Giles developed a plan allowing the transit system to help get food to county residents that need it the most.

Giles was helped with funds from the North Carolina Department of Transportation in the efforts.

Within a week of examining options, the Transit Authority began offering free transportation to Storehouse Pantry in Forest City on Thursdays to residents who don’t have access to transportation.

“This partnership is a perfect marriage of services,” Giles said in a release. “The pantry provides the food and we eliminate the transportation barrier, ensuring that people are able to get to the food that they need – it just made sense.”

Since its inception on Jan. 13, 2013, the program has had 312 appointments.

We feel this program deserves kudos and recognition for going above and beyond to service those in need here in Rutherford County.

Transportation to places like Storehouse Pantry can be difficult, especially for those that live on limited, or no income. It’s likely that those that need the food offered by the pantry are those that don’t have available transportation to get the food and bring it home.

Now, the program touts the fact that nearly 100 residents use the service each month and we applaud Giles for trying to expand that even further.

“We’re working with local churches to set up a schedule where they use their vehicles to transport the food so we can fill our vans with more people,” Giles said.

She said she is also looking at ways to expand the hours of the service which would allow the Transit Authority to schedule two runs per vehicle. Giles is also looking at additional food distribution outlets in the county to increase the amount of food available to those that are in need.

The service is offered on a first-come, first served basis and those interested in riding must call the Transit Authority in advance to reserve a seat. Residents can take advantage of the ride once a month and only one person per household can ride. There are no coolers allowed and riders can cancel their reservation but it must be done 24 hours in advance.

We applaud Giles, the Rutherford County Transit Authority and the Public Transportation Division of the North Carolina Department of Transportation for their efforts in ensuring residents have access to basic necessities such as food.

We also encourage those in a position to help reach out to Giles and offer support for the program.

We hope the program continues to gain in viability. And, with more community support, we believe it will.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board

 

The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark.