ATLANTA (Feb 26, 2010) – After paratransit riders in Clayton County came close to losing a vital means of public transportation, Sen. Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale) is urging President Barack Obama and Congress to continue funding public transportation for Georgia’s elderly and disabled citizens. Her efforts come in response to Clayton County’s decision to shutter its C-TRAN public bus service, which serves 400 paratransit riders. She shared her efforts with Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) commissioner Vance Smith and the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) today during a transportation budget hearing at the State Capitol.
“I’m committed to ensuring Georgia’s entire critical need population has access to the community paratransit services that they rely on to get to their doctor, buy groceries, and perform other vital daily functions,” said Sen. Seay. “Elderly and disabled citizens typically rely on public services the most, and we need to take care of that population first and foremost. I’m encouraging cooperation between all levels of government to make sure that communities like Clayton County can continue to provide the transportation services their citizens need.”
Sen. Seay will introduce a resolution urging continued federal funding for paratransit when the legislature reconvenes in March. The General Assembly is currently recessing for two weeks to allow legislators time to work on balancing the state budget. As a member of the transportation subcommittee of Senate Appropriations, Sen. Seay attended today’s transportation budget hearing where she discussed the future of paratransit services with DOT Commissioner Smith and GRTA’s leaders.
Representing many of the 400 paratransit riders who depend on Clayton County’s public bus system, Sen. Seay is working to ensure a seamless transition once C-TRAN service ends on March 31. Unable to sustain funding, Clayton County is turning its public transit services over to GRTA. The authority will operate three express routes in the county, which will serve only a third of C-TRAN’s current ridership.
In order to serve the 400 paratransit customers, GRTA is working with the Community Development Authority in Clayton County to operate three paratransit buses. Close to 150 of those customers rely on public transit for critical medical trips and dialysis treatments. GRTA will put these buses into service on April 1, pending approval from the Federal Transit Administration.
Sen. Valencia Seay represents the 34th Senate District, which includes parts of Clayton and Fayette counties. She can be reached at her office at 404.656.5095 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Immediate Release:
February 26, 2010
For Information Contact:
Raegan Weber, Director
Kallarin Richards, Senior Communications Specialist