Rides available from Little Kanawha Bus

dave-headshotRain, shine or snow - it looks like the new Little Kanawha Bus service is on the go!

When seeing bus driver Danny Dawson all bright eyed, alert and eager to serve his riders at 7 a.m. on Wed. morning, Jan. 15 - one of our recent cool days, we editors thought that the new Little Kanawha Bus service in Gilmer County and this Shock resident, who drives the bus, richly deserve pats on their backs.

About 10 years ago, the Little Kanawha Bus (LKB) service, based in Mt. Zion, made its first inquiry about Gilmer County's need for a taxi and/or public transportation type service. Apparently at that time, however, the LKB service's Board of Directors couldn't see that the need was here or wasn't able to secure the funding to start it up then for its proposed Gilmer County expansion.

We editors and Gilmer Countians in general should, therefore, be happy that the bus service's board persisted in its intent to provide low cost and safe transportation for the people in need of it in this county. And, the folks here do desire it, for as Mr. Dawson told us on that cold morning at Foodland, where some of the riders were already grocery shopping, "This morning, I'll be picking up and taking customers to Stouts Mills, Cedarville and Normantown." Now that's a pretty far reaching trip for that day, but it shows that citizens all over Gilmer County need the LKB public transportation. Perhaps they desire to grocery shop, as noted above, to pick up a few household items at the local discount stores, go to medical appointments, or whatever.

Thus, understandably, due to the Little Kanawha Bus's wide service area and many requests, not all areas can be served every day. Right now, the initial schedule is as follows:
Mondays - Round trip service along Rte. 47 and Rte. 5 West from Linn, Troy, Coxs Mills and Tanner;
Wednesdays - Road trip service along Rte. 5 East from Stouts Mills and Sand Fork. Round Trip service along Rte. 33 from Cedarville and Normantown;
1st Fridays - Round trip service to Clarksburg;
2nd and 4th Fridays - Round trip service to Weston; and
3rd Fridays - Round trip service to Flatwoods.
Questions about this demand response service can be directed to the Little Kanawha Bus's office at 1-866-354-5522 (or the TDD [hard of hearing or deaf] line at the same number.

After scheduling your trip by phone, we understand that you'll be given an exact pickup time based on the number of other passengers and the exact route. For riders with disabilities, the buses are ADA accessible, with lift-equipped vehicles and mobility aids.

In addition, the drivers are professionally trained, being tuned into passenger assistance, certified in CPR and First Aid, and knowledgeable about defensive driving, customer service and evacuation. "Your LKB vehicle operators are dedicated to providing you with a safe and enjoyable ride," according to the information contained in their brochure.

To be considerate to these dedicated operators and fellow passengers, a set of rider rules has been developed. They are as follows: no smoking, eating, drinking or loud music; pets not permitted (except for service animals); be prompt at your pickup location (five minutes ahead of time); seatbelts are required; baby strollers and shopping carts must be folded; ring the bell for exiting; have car seats for children; disorderly conduct, not permitted; during state emergencies, buses don't run; power wheel chairs/scooters must be turned off during transit; and wheel chair customers, to use regular seats during the ride. If you have questions, ask your operator.

The fares are economical: $1.00 per each 10 miles; $14.00 to Clarksburg; and $10.00 to Weston and Flatwoods.
Most importantly, it's easy to book your ride. Just tell the phone agent at 1-866-354-5544 where you are traveling from, where you are going and what time you need to be there.

In the main, the Little Kanawha Bus line's mission is to provide safe, reliable and affordable rides for people in their multicounty service area. Moreover, they are committed to serving those people with disabilities and the elderly, among others who do not have a car or truck.

Hence, welcome to Gilmer County, Little Kanawha Bus service! We citizens are happy to have your public transportation service here.

County Commission sets its meeting days

For citizens with governmental questions or problems, newcomers wanting to know more about the county or school civics classes desiring to see local government in action, the County Commission meetings are a good place to start.

Commission President Brian Kennedy and his fellow Commissioners Larry Chapman and Darrel Ramsey welcome the general public to these meetings.

At their latest meeting, they established the 2014 regular meeting dates as follows: the first Tuesday and the third Wednesday of each month, with the Tuesday, Feb. 4 meeting being rescheduled for Wed., Feb. 5. The latter change of date was requested to accommodate the courthouse's employees for a budget workshop. The meetings take place in the Courthouse's Commission Room, unless otherwise specified.

Kudos to the Gilmer County Commissioners for welcoming all newcomers and citizens to their meetings!

Improvements at the Career Center

The Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center really seems like it's "on the move."

According to Gilmer BOE member Phyllis Starkey, the center will receive a portion of state Major Improvement Project monies recently awarded. About $414,169 will be allocated for tile, plumbing, painting and parapet wall caps, with a local match of $50,000. Plus, $30,000+ may be available to complete all necessary work, as part of the Gilmer PSD's waterline extension to the school. Congrats to the C-GCC!