MARLBORO COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - After many years of no public transportation, getting around will become easier for people in Marlboro County.
Wednesday afternoon, officials held a meeting at the county administration building to iron out the details of the new bus services through the Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority.
"We haven't had public transportation here in 20, 25 years," Ron Munnerlyn, the county’s administrator said.
The county is partnering with CareSouth-Carolina to bring public transportation to the area.
Mark Sobiski with CareSouth-Carolina said the idea for bus service started out as a way to get people from McColl and Clio to their new center being built in McColl.
However, Sobiski said he and local leaders believed the use would be greater if they combine resources with the county.
"We're able to expand the small footprint of the shuttle service to a much larger one that can serve all of Marlboro County," Sobiski said.
“This effort comes out of a strategic planning initiative by Marlboro County Council for find transportation for folks that want to work and get to work,” Munnerlyn said.
There will be two types of services: a daytime bus for people in the Bennettsville, McColl and Clio areas and a demand response bus that will go where people need to be picked or dropped off through a call in service. The service is at no cost to riders.
"Making it free was a big aspect with what we were trying to accomplish because with limited resources they have in Marlboro County, and surrounding counties as well, we want to make sure we get transportation that people need to do their daily chores... got to Walmart, go to the doctor," Sobiski said.
Ultimately, Munnerlyn said the new service will let companies know that Marlboro County is open for business.
"If we can make this work and train folks through our new vocational training center then we’ll have a real calling card and it'll be an asset to us as we try to recruit industries,” Munnerlyn said.
The service costs 300,000 dollars per year for 3 years, funded partly by the county and CareSouth-Carolina. The rest will be funded through state and federal sources.
Officials hope to have the service up and running by the end of November.