WEIRTON, W.Va. (WTRF) — For so many Weirton and Follansbee residents, the transit system is more than just a bus.
It’s a ticket to see and experience one of West Virginia’s largest cities.
But in a matter of just weeks, some of those buses may be parked indefinitely.
The provider is facing financial difficulties, after dealing with tax issues and finding itself unable to support a higher operating budget.
That’s despite additional CARES Act funding in the first year of the pandemic.
They’re now looking at potentially letting go of staff, ending certain routes, or stopping service altogether in June.
Residents of Freedom Place Apartments say if that happens, they’ll have no way to get up to Three Springs Drive to do most of their shopping.
“We don’t have a store down here. We lost Kroger’s downtown. All we have is Dollar General. The people have no choice but to go up on the hill. Walmart’s on the hill, the fast foods are on the hill.”Janice Boden, Freedom Place Apartment resident
“I’d really be in a bind. it’s my main choice of transportation. It’s really three-fourths of my transportation.”Karen Buricker, Riding transit for 20 years
“I need this bus. I can’t drive without it, I can’t get anywhere without it. It’s like taking a person’s wheelchair away, or taking my walker away. You can’t do it.”Fozai Saleh, Freedom Place Apartment resident
7News also reached out to Weirton Transit to hear more about their plans:
“The Weirton Transit Corporation Board of Directors and staff of WTC are working diligently to avoid a shut down of services. However, a reduction in services will most likely be unavoidable due to unexpected financial challenges. Our hope is that any service interruption is temporary; as we are firmly committed to continuing to provide transit services to our community. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our customers.”Flora Perrone, President of Weirton Transit Corporation
You can make your opinion count at a special meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, May 22—where the corporation will be weighing all of their financial options.