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Your Say: May 24-30, 2018

New Public Transportation Programs

       For people in South County, there is no public transportation between Edgewater and the Calvert County line. In early July that will change with two pilot projects. 
       The Circulator bus will start at Annapolis Mall making stops in Galesville, Shady Side, Churchton, Deale, Tracy’s Landing, Wayson’s Corner, Lothian, Harwood and Edgewater before returning to the mall. 
        The second program provides two shuttles, nicknamed SoCo GO!, operating in two separate zones. Shuttle riders must be at least 65 years old or 18 and disabled. If you are within three-quarters-mile of the route, the shuttle will pick you up and deliver you within your zone. 
       Why are these programs so important? Who will benefit?
       Many elderly citizens want to age in place. With failing eyesight or with strong medications, some either don’t want to drive any longer or shouldn’t drive any longer. The van programs for this group go to medical appointments but not to the grocery store or to a restaurant. The SoCo GO! shuttles will.
       Recent high school graduates often live at home while looking for a job or going to the community college. The family cars go to work every day. How can someone look for a job without transportation? The Circulator can connect them to a bus that goes into Annapolis and on to Anne Arundel Community College. Or they can connect at one of the Park & Ride lots to a commuter bus going into Washington, D.C.
         Citizens under the jurisdiction of the justice system who have lost their driving privileges must rely on family and friends to get to court or appointments with a parole or probation officer. People in court-mandated substance-use treatment programs are in danger of missing appointments. Missed appointments could land them in jail.
        The Anne Arundel County Transportation Office needs your input. If you will use either the Circulator or the SoCo GO! shuttles, you can provide answers by taking the online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WJN2H8X
        Or you can text or call 443-424-3801. Clearly state your name and address to receive a paper copy by mail. Details on Facebook: Public Transportation in Southern Anne Arundel County.
       Please take the survey! Responses are needed by May 31.
–Kris Smith, Co-chair, Transportation ­Committee: South County Huddle