City considering rise in TransAid rate
BY TODD LUCK
The consideration to raise the TransAid rate cleared a preliminary vote during a public works committee meeting on Tuesday, Feb 13.
TransAid gives on-demand rides to qualified handicap riders. The measure would start the public comment process for raising TransAid rates from 50 cent to $1 and eliminating the exemption that lets most riders use it for free. This was among several suggestions staff had in order to make up the Winston-Salem Transit Authority’s projected $1.8 million budget deficit for next fiscal year.
The measure passed 3-1, with City Council Member James Taylor voting against it, citing rider dissatisfaction with bus route changes as this reason.
“In good conscious, I am unable to move forward until we make adjustments to those fixed routes,” said Taylor
If the same measure is approved by the finance committee next month, it’ll take months to inform the public of the comment period and hold a series of public hearings to get feedback from riders before it could be approved by City Council.
Even raised to $1, Winston-Salem’s TransAid rate would remain lower than other cities of its size in the state.
Assistant City Manager Greg Turner said WSTA is also working to alter the new bus routes in response to rider complaints. Those changes include having a bus once again go by Skyline Village, which had lost direct service with the new routes. He said the route that serves the Downtown Health Plaza and the Department of Social Services had been revised to no longer travel there on the weekends when both those places are closed. Bus stops are also being moved. He said meetings are being held with businesses and other organizations with complaints to discuss what changes they need in the routes.