Jan. 5, 2009 will be an exciting day in Putnam County -- affordable public transportation will become available to local residents as vehicles provided by Putnam County Rural Transit will begin making rounds throughout the city.
The "Greencastle Express" service will stop at various points throughout the city and will deviate from the route to pick up and drop off additional riders as time and space allow. These stops will be posted in the near future. Riders should call in advance to arrange for off-route pick-ups or drop-offs.
In addition to the Greencastle Express, two "County Sweeps" will operate, Monday through Friday with demand-response service available. During the morning and evening peak demand hours, these vehicles will be connecting the rural areas to several points in the county, including Greencastle.
For the remainder of the day, these vehicles will continue to provide demand-response service, with round trip curb-to-curb service available from home to destinations including appointments, shopping areas, and other personal and business locations throughout the county. Riders should call in advance to schedule trips.
Fares are 75 cents for one-way rides, with monthly passes available for $15.
Putnam County Commissioners approved the plan to bring the transportation service to the county several months ago.
The U.S. Department of Transportation provides a 50-50 match for operations and an 80-20 match for capital as part of its Rural and Small Urban Areas (5311) program.
Projected costs for the transportation project are $127,000 with a portion of that amount to be paid by the county. After a year of operation, funds from the Indiana Department of Transportation will be used to help fund the program.
Passenger fares also go toward the support of the program. Future funding will depend upon the number of riders.
In June, Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray told the commissioners the city was behind the project and willing to kick in funds.
Jim Stevens, director of the Putnam County Senior Center explained that the Senior Center van can only transport people 55 and older and can't take anyone in a wheelchair.
For information about the new Public Transit or to schedule a ride call 848-1508.