Coast RTA looks to do more with less

Horry County, SC - By A.J. Ross - bio | email

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – A tough budget year has forced the Coast RTA and many other Horry County organizations to find new ways to make ends meet.

Myers Rollins, CEO and General Manager of the Coast RTA, says he and his employees have had to think outside the box to find ways to do more with less.

"We made a decision that we would maintain the same levels of service," explained Rollins.  "So we had to find creative ways to reduce our costs."

One of the ways the Coast RTA is now saving money is a new initiative called "Demand Response." Through Demand Response, one or two buses per day are on stand-by until a passenger calls requesting a ride.

Rollins says the RTA has been able to save thousands of dollars per week through this new program.

Yvette Jefferson, the director of marketing and communications for the RTA, says the Coastal Transit Plus program has been another effective program.  The Transit Plus program is a form of demand response, through which senior citizens can call an arrange rides 24 hours in advance.

The cost for this door-to-door service is $12 round trip.

"We definitely don't want to cut any of the services if we can help it," said Jefferson.

The Coast RTA has also received more than $3 million in federal stimulus money and grants.  Jefferson says this federal money supplemented with money from the county has been a great help to their operations.

"We wouldn't be able to exist without federal funds and even more important is the local support," said Jefferson.

The Coast RTA received $500,000 from Horry County for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

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