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Chatham Transit unveils new countywide service and fare cards

Posted Friday, July 8, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - Chatham Transit Network will introduce a new county-wide curb-to-curb service and new fare cards beginning August 1, 2011. Other changes include a new fare structure based on trip mileage and revisions to the existing Cross County route.

The new countywide curb-to-curb service will allow anyone in the county to schedule a ride with Chatham Transit to any location in the county. A rider must call Chatham Transit by noon the day before the desired trip to schedule a ride. The service is available Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 4:30 pm. The new in-county service will replace the existing curb-to-curb service that is currently available only in Pittsboro and Siler City.

“We’re excited to be able to offer this transportation option to everyone in Chatham County, not just those who live or work in the towns,” said Amber Wagner, executive director of Chatham Transit. “We get a lot of calls from folks who need a ride but aren’t in Pittsboro or Siler City, and unfortunately we have to tell them that we are unable to accommodate their transportation needs unless they are close to an existing route.”

The cost of in-county curb-to-curb service, including trips in Pittsboro or Siler City, will be based on the length of the trip:

• Trips less than five miles long are $2;
• Trips five to ten miles are $4;
• Trips ten to 20 miles are $7; and
• Each additional 10 miles is $3.

The existing in-town service currently costs $1 each way.

County Commission Chairman Brian Bock, who serves on Chatham Transit’s advisory board, notes that while this will be a cost increase for existing riders using the in-town service, the new fare structure will allow Chatham Transit to offer curb-to-curb service throughout the county. “The new in-county service will provide a tremendous benefit to many residents in the unincorporated areas struggling to make ends meet, including those without personal transportation.”

To help residents stretch their dollar, Chatham Transit will also begin offering a fare card that will allow riders to purchase multiple fares at a 20 percent discount.

• A card with 20 one-dollar fares will cost $16;
• A card with 20 two-dollar fares will cost $32; and
• A card with 20 three-dollar fares will cost $48.

The fare cards, which are the size of a business card, can be used like cash to pay the fare on any Chatham Transit service.

Wagner is confident that riders will realize the convenience of using the fare cards. “For example, a person schedules a trip on our new in-county service that costs $7. Instead of needing exact change, you can use a fare card, and the driver will just mark off $7 worth of fare on the card. And, the bonus is that it cost you 20 percent less than paying cash.”

The fare cards will be available for purchase at several locations in Pittsboro and Siler City. Riders can visit Chatham Transit’s website or call them at (919) 542-5136 for the locations.

Chatham Transit will also be making changes to the current Cross County route, which goes from the Walmart in Siler City to the Lowe’s Home Improvement in Pittsboro to the Lowe’s Foods at Chatham Commons to Chapel Hill. As of August 1, the route will be split into two routes – one from Siler City to Pittsboro and one from Pittsboro to Chapel Hill.

This change will make it easier for Chatham Transit to coordinate transfers with other routes, such as a future Siler City-Sanford route and Chapel Hill Transit’s PX route, while potentially increasing the frequency of one or both routes. Riders from Siler City to Chapel Hill will not have to transfer vehicles at this time, since the same van will run both routes.

Chatham Transit is adding new stops to the Cross County route, including the new Central Carolina Community College campus in Siler City and the Chatham Community Library and Courthouse Circle in Pittsboro.

The fare for each segment of the new split routes will be $3. Riders from Siler City to Chapel Hill will have to pay a fare when boarding each route, making the total one-way fare $6. The current fare is $2 from Siler City to Pittsboro and $3 to Chapel Hill from either Pittsboro or Siler City.

Anyone interested in more information about Chatham Transit’s services is encouraged to visit their website at www.chathamtransit.org, send an email to info@chathamtransit.org or call (919) 542-5136.

 
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Chatham Transit unveils new countywide service and fare cards
 
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