Boyer Says Mass Transit Should Grow With County

Private Agency Suggests Buses To Owings Mills Metro

May 01, 1991|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff writer

Carroll's closest thing to a mass-transit system wants to expand andwork better with the county, the board and new executive director told the County Commissioners yesterday.

Former Mount Airy Mayor Linda R. Boyer was hired a month ago as executive director of the private, non-profit Carroll Transit System, also known as Senior Overland Service.

The 12-member board of directors hired Boyer after the resignation of Charles E. "Bud" Nason, said member Charles O. Fisher Jr., a Westminster lawyer.

"We have had a problem in the past. I don't thinkyou'll have that problem in the future," board president James H. Glazier of Mount Airy told the commissioners.

"In the past, I believe the corporation has felt that it was not adequately reimbursed by the county for services it provided," Fisher said.

"And I believe the county felt the corporation did not properly justify the amount wefelt we were entitled to," Fisher said. "We're in the process of changing our accounting system to be more responsive to the county's request for information."

Boyer has met several times with county Director of Management and Budget Steven D. Powell, Fisher said.

"Andthe county, we believe and we hope, is looking to us to provide the lion's share of the transportation required in certain areas," he said.

In addition to running most of the Department of Aging's routesto senior centers, the agency also has other contracts serving handicapped people and those needing transportation for medical services such as kidney dialysis. Contracts include those with Carroll Haven and the South Carroll Adult Day Care Center.

Carroll Transit also runs a Shopper Shuttle and demand-response service for which the publiccan pay a straight fare for a ride scheduled 24 hours in advance by calling 876-RIDE.

Boyer said the agency would like to expand to provide more service to the public, especially to help people get to jobs, training and college classes. One possibility, she said, is a shuttle to the Metro stop in Owings Mills and shuttles from large parking lots to cultural events within the county.

"As our county grows,there will come a time when we need a mass-transit system," said board member Mark S. Snyder, a businessman and candidate for re-electionto the Westminster City Council.

He said that while the transit system here would not have to be like the system in Baltimore, it willhave to complement existing ways for people to get to jobs, doctor appointments and shopping.

"What we're all going through are growing pains," he said, "complicated by the fact that the funds in generalare shrinking, and the demand is rising."

The agency employs 16 drivers and six office workers (including Boyer) and runs a fleet of 16 buses and vans. The agency's budget for fiscal 1990-1991, which ends June 30, is $467,000, Boyer said. Income comes primarily from federal, state and county money, in exchange for serving senior, poor and handicapped people.

Boyer said the agency "absolutely" will submita bid to provide a coordinated transportation program for the county. Those bids will be opened May 21.

No bids have been received yet, but other agencies in and outside the county may submit bids, said Marjorie Bachmann, administrative services analyst for the Departmentof Aging.

Bachmann said she hoped Carroll Transit would submit a bid, and said she has noticed "a real spirit of cooperation that we didn't see before."

Nason of Linwood said his contract expired in August 1990, but that he stayed on longer at the request of the last board president, Wilbur Boller, who died this year.

"The new board president elected to bring in Linda in my place," Nason said, rather than renew his contract.

Nason was the first executive director, taking that job in August of 1988 just months after Carroll Transit System formed.

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