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Eyes on the Road: New transit fares, route tweaks set for Wednesday
Gainesville Connection changes start July 1
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New Gainesville Connection fares and bus routes are set to take effect Wednesday.

Much of the new rates should please riders, especially those who frequently board buses.

Monthly passes with unlimited rides for riders ages 7-59 will drop from $40 to $30 and monthly passes with unlimited rides for seniors and persons with disabilities will drop from $30 to $20.

Also, daily passes with unlimited rides drop from $3 to $2.

For individual rides, passengers ages 7-59 will pay $1. Previously, passengers ages 8-59 paid $1. Riders 60 and older and disabled people, with a valid “reduced fare” ID, still will pay 50 cents.

A reduced-fare card costs $3.

As for the routes, one of the biggest changes — as frequent riders likely will notice — comes in the numbering system. Route 1 South is now Route 10 South, 1 North is now 11 East, 3 is now 20, 4 is now 30, 5a is now 40, 5b is now 41 and 6 is now 50.

Route 2 has been merged into Route 11 East.

Phillippa Lewis Moss, director of Gainesville-Hall County Community Service Center, which operates the bus service, has said, “Overall, the routes will offer our passengers easier connectivity from one route to another because the buses will arrive at stops 15 minutes before and after the hour.”

“This minor tweak to the schedule will help most passengers who finish appointments on the hour or half hour to catch the next bus within 15 to 30 minutes.”

Officials announced last fall they were extending hours for the transit system, altering some routes and reinstating transfer fees as part of changes to increase ridership and revenues.

Gainesville Connection has operated since early 2014, replacing the longtime Red Rabbit fixed-route service.

The Red Rabbit was part of — as Gainesville Connection is Wednesday — Hall Area Transit, which, overall, has served Gainesville and Hall residents since 1983.

Officials plan on rolling out a new marketing campaign, “Connecting You,” in July for Gainesville Connection.

Bus stop shelters will have new ads featuring different types of riders that use the service, Moss has said.

“The ads will feature a simple message from each rider,” she said. “The feel should be simple but sophisticated.”

In an email this week, Moss said the campaign’s photo shoot “is complete, and we got some great shots. It will be a couple of more weeks before the photos are transformed into posters.”

Two-mile Baker Road section not set for paving

Since the Hall County Board of Commissioners voted in June to improve an .89-mile section that juts off Candler Road, residents have called county officials wondering if another 2-mile gravel section of Baker Road also would be improved.

Not the case, said Katie Crumley, Hall spokeswoman.

“This section of Baker will receive a final topping of asphalt under a county contract to satisfy the original condition” of the rezoning of the Copper Glen subdivision property where Habitat for Humanity is building 21 homes, she said.

Improvements will take place before the end of the year.

Jeff Gill covers transportation issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:


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