August 30, 2010
Two chief executive positions are among the 12 job opportunities offered in the classifieds!
Pee Dee Serves Darlington
For the first time, residents of the small South Carolina town of Darlington have fixed route bus service, provided by the Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority (PDRTA) in Florence, SC.
PDRTA Executive Director Janice Baroody explained that the agency previously offered demand-response service in Darlington, but instituted the fixed route at the request of local businesses and residents. The new DART service began Aug. 16 and operated fare free through Aug. 27.
“Our unemployment rates are astronomical—15 to 20 percent—and transportation is a huge issue,” Baroody said. “When we held our public hearings, members of the business community asked us not to provide only intercity transportation because our local merchants, doctors, and other businesses need to be sustained and they need customers.”
Rather than simply considering the Darlington route as part of the larger PDRTA service area, the authority created a unique brand—“DART”— to demonstrate that the service belongs to the residents of the town. “The support and response have been fantastic,” Baroody added.
Many of the DART riders use the service to get to work, she said, while others use it for shopping, doctor’s visits, and other purposes. “When you have a little town,” she noted, “you can do a route that takes about an hour and hits every apartment complex, the downtown area, the local hospital, and so forth.”
Baroody also said PDRTA plans to start a similar fixed route in the town of Hartsville, about 20 miles from Darlington, within months.