Carroll Transit System executive board to discuss fate of public transportation

January 20, 1993|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

The fate of the county's public transportation could be decided at a meeting today of the Carroll Transit System executive board.

Two of the options the board will consider today are closing the nonprofit agency or scaling back services, said Linda Boyer, executive director.

The board meets this morning and will send its recommendation to the full board of directors when that panel meets Feb. 17.

Mrs. Boyer said she had hoped to know today whether the county would be willing to provide a loan and mechanics to help the agency.

She said she has been asking the county for help since October, and doesn't understand why it's taken so long to get an answer.

"This is pretty cut and dried. We're not even asking for money," she said.

The board and Mrs. Boyer have asked the county for a $10,000 loan to buy software. The software would allow more efficient billing and planning of routes, Mrs. Boyer said.

Carroll Transit's primary request is to have county mechanics maintain the fleet of vans, at a rate of $25 an hour. The agency now pays $37 an hour for a private firm to maintain the vans.

The private agency spun off from county government in the 1980s and now contracts with the county, state and other private agencies to provide public transportation. State cuts and policy changes this year threaten to leave Carroll Transit with a deficit of about $70,000.

County Attorney Charles W. Thompson Jr. said he was optimistic about reaching an arrangement with Carroll Transit, but needed to work out some legal details. He had said he would advise the commissioners by Jan. 15.

The three commissioners each said they hadn't seen the legal opinion yet. With the holiday Monday and Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy attending inaugural events in Washington and other activities this week, the commissioners may not be able to meet until tomorrow on the issue.

All three commissioners said they supported continuing some form of public transportation in Carroll County.

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said she would favor most of the requests to help Carroll Transit, but would like to look at the agency's long-term goals to see whether it could be operated more efficiently.

Mr. Dell said he was not sure about the loan request and would have to see more evidence that it would help the agency save money.

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