By Wayne Allen
After announcing plans earlier this year to expand services in Wheelersburg, Access Scioto County (ASC) has delayed implementation of those plans due to lease complications.
Larry Mullins, ASC coordinator, said the service expansion would be similar to a taxi service with the expansion ASC will open a second office.
“In order to meet the increasing demand for service in the Wheelersburg area, Access Scioto County is proposing to initiate a new same day service for Wheelersburg,” Mullins said.
Mullins said initial plans called for the service to start July 1. He said they have not been able to sign a lease on office space, so they are delaying implementation until July 15.
“Currently we have a bus arriving and departing from the Wheelersburg area once an hour. With the addition of this service we would be able to improve the existing service by cutting down on waiting times. The new service will be utilized to gather up other passengers using the regular county-wide service and bringing them to a central pickup location,” Mullins said.
Mullins said the new service would be operated like a taxi service from Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
He said the cost of the new service will be one dollar for a one way trip, per person, that’s available on a first come, first serve basis. Those approved for ASC’s Elderly and Disabled Reduce Fare will ride for half price.
He said each service would originate and terminate in the Wheelersburg area and prospective passengers would call a special number when they want a trip.
“In the past we have encountered problems where our passengers are done with their doctor appointments and they are waiting to be picked by the next bus arriving in Wheelersburg, however the doctor’s office is closer for lunch. This has caused tension on more than several occasions with our passengers and the doctor’s offices. Sometimes passengers are forced to wait outside until their bus picks up,” Mullins said. “The new service will help elevate this problem by picking the passenger up and taking them to our Wheelersburg office to wait for their bus from Portsmouth.”
Mullins estimates the service would cost $25,000 annually, including office space, utilities, supplies and etc. He said ASC has sufficient revenue to support the expansion.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT