High auto ownership rates and low population densities have resulted in large-scale elimination of public transit systems in small towns. This trend exacerbates the mobility problem of the transportation-disadvantaged: the poor, the elderly, the handicapped, and the young. Lumberton, North Carolina, is typical of the transportation situation of towns with a population of less than 25,000. Located along an important Interstate Highway, the town has attracted industries that offer jobs within a few miles of the town. yet, unemployment rates are high among the carless, predominatly Black population of Lumberton. A group of concerned citizens from the transportation-disadvantaged community tried to organize a bus company. The company went bankrupt within 2 months. The Transportation Institute of North Carolina Argicultural and Technical State University performed an economic autopsy and drew up a proposal for an innovative transit program designed to minimize cost and give service specifically to the transportation-disadvantaged. The success of the program depends on the willingness of the City Council to underwrite approximately $30,000 of operating deficit yearly. The authors suggest that in the case of a low-wage area such as Lumberton the major costs are those of overhead, namely management, and the necessary backup system of extra buses and a maintenance crew. The authors propose that towns such as Lumberton join into a transit consortium with nearby communities and make a joint application for funding from the capital grants program of the Urban Mass Transportation Administration. /Author/

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    • Publication of this paper sponsored by Committee on Social, Economic and Environmental Factors of Transportation. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
  • Authors:
    • Saltzman, Arthur
    • Kidder, Alice E
    • Soloman, Richard
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  • Publication Date: 1973

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 39-54
  • Monograph Title: Transportation for the disadvantaged
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00157789
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309022584
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Sep 28 1982 12:00AM