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/

Media Info

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

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

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