Horry County residents, council rely on full cooperation from Co - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Horry County residents, council rely on full cooperation from Coast RTA to secure funding

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County residents could be out of having a way to get to work, to the grocery store, or to doctor's appointments if council members vote to cut funding for Coast RTA.

But local leaders worry the service is being driven into the ground.

During a recent county council meeting, Chairman Lazarus said:

“That is not to say I'm happy, because I am not. I didn't want to get up here to do this, and I certainly won't do it again. We're going to get the house in order”

The message was clear.

“It's time you take county council seriously. I've said it in board meetings before. I'll go to bat for you one more time, and that is it,” warned Councilman Loftus.

After Coast RTA asked for an extension on the funding agreement – county council was very vocal about its disapproval of how things were being done at the transportation system. Council eventually agreed to give the group the funding for the last quarter.

For many people getting on these buses or waiting for the next one, around the county – Coast RTA is their only transportation option. While the transportation system and county council may not see-eye-to-eye on the funding agreement – they do agree on one thing: the need to keep the buses running.

Coast RTA is a mode of transportation for Tracy Sebario. She said she travels the bus “for medicines, food, and everything!” She said it's a daily journey for her health.

“We hitchhike from Loris, which is 11 miles to the nearest bus station. Then, we have to wait or somebody will give us a ride all the way here,” said Sebario.

She said she is worried about July when Coast RTA may have to lay off workers or cut routes due to lack of local funding.

“I'd just have to die. I couldn't get to a doctor,” she admitted.

Coast RTA matches the local money to the federal funding. Losing out on money from the county level – could jeopardize the amount of money the transportation system receives overall.

Funding for more than $1 million dollars still needs to pass through council before handing over the money to Coast RTA.

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