Meridian, Miss. More efforts are being made to restore public transportation service to at least some people within the city of Meridian. Two years ago Meridian Transit System closed due to a lack of funds. However, if officials with Multi-County Community Service have their way, by late this fall, that agency will start providing public transportation for some people within the Meridian area.
"October is the new fiscal year, and what we're looking to have is some form of arrangement," says MCCSA consultant, Sollie Norwood. "If not resolved by that time, we're looking to have it shortly after that."
Norwood goes on to say that the plan at this point is for MCCSA to first start providing the service to people who need it the most.
"It would be tailor-made," says Norwood. "We're looking basically at providing transportation to medical facilities. We're looking to support the transportation services for veterans. We're looking at specialized populations initially."
Officials with the city of Meridian are currently exploring partnership opportunities with the Choctaw tribe and possibly MCCSA to provide public transportation. As MCCSA continues to seek funding to provide the service, agency officials say they will continue to work to forge partnerships with both the city of Meridian and the Choctaw tribe.
With a goal of ultimately providing public transportation on some level to all 9 counties which the agency serves, MCCSA officials say the time to put the plan into action is now.
"We do not have the resources at this point," says Norwood, "but we are constantly looking, and it's not about making money; it's about providing quality services to enhance the overall quality of life for our seniors especially, and for those that have some medical challenges."