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New microtransit program could be boosted by federal funding
Hall Area Transit
A Gainesville Connection bus drops off seniors at the Fair Street Neighborhood Center one morning in July 2017. The fixed-route bus service is a service of Hall Area Transit. - photo by Scott Rogers

Gainesville will apply for $1.3 million in federal funding that could help pay for public transit in the area as the WeGo microtransit program begins.

The Gainesville City Council unanimously approved the funding application at its meeting Tuesday, Nov. 17. The Community Service Center has used Section 5307 grant funds since 1995 to fund transit services, according to meeting documents. Matching funds from Gainesville and Hall County will be requested through the Fiscal Year 2022 budget process. That fiscal year would begin in July 2021. 

The Georgia Department of Transportation takes application requests of small urban transit systems in the state and presents them to the Federal Transit Administration for consideration. 

WeGo will operate similar to Uber or Lyft, with users requesting rides on the app or calling Hall Area Transit to ask for one. 

City Manager Bryan Lackey said Tuesday the city has a few WeGo vans and is preparing for the launch of the program.

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