Transit services in Hall could take a first step to join a nationwide initiative to go green.
County commissioners on Thursday will consider whether to transition Hall-Area Transit Services to zero-carbon emission vehicles.
Hall’s transit service, WeGo, operates under the Gainesville/Hall County Community Services department and provides transit services in Gainesville and Hall County.
If approved, Hall County would pay Planning Communities LLC $50,639 in grant money to develop a “zero emission vehicle transition plan for Hall Area Transit,” documents state.
Joseph Boyd, the transportation planning director for Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, explained specifics of the proposal following Monday’s work session, stating, “The new infrastructure bill that came out in 2021 has earmarked funds for zero/low emission vehicles.”
“But you cannot tap into (that funding) unless you have a transition plan,” he said. “We have to have the plan done. That will look at (Hall-Area Transit’s) fleet, look at their existing infrastructure and then tell them what they need to do to seamlessly transition.”
Boyd said that while it’s still unclear how many emission-free vehicles the county could receive, he expects the execution of the plan to be swift following its approval.
“The plan is going to be quick,” Boyd said. “It should be done by the end of June, and then Hall-Area Transit can apply for funds in (fiscal year) ’24. It’ll probably be a couple (vehicles) at a time. They’ll look at what they need to install for charging…at the base where all the buses are parked.”
“This is a first initial step,” he said. “Then we’ll tap into the funding.”
WeGo is accessible “on-demand” with 15-minute wait times in Gainesville and up to 45-minute wait times in Hall County and operates weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 pm., according to county documents. The service offers one-way trips up to five miles in length at a cost of $2.00 and trips longer than five miles cost at $2.00 – plus $0.50 for each mile over five miles.
Commissioners will consider the item at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 23, during their regular meeting at the Hall County Government Center.