Like Bill Murray in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, some Athens bus riders are about to spend a lot more time in loops! Fortunately for us, this development represents an improvement rather than the time trap that Murray’s character Phil found himself in.
Starting February 2nd, 2015, APT will expand the hours on its Route 5 loop from the current hourly trips 9:30am-5:30pm to 7:30am-7:30pm. At the same time, a brand new loop will be opening – Route 6. The 6 will run hourly 7:00am-7:00pm.
The two loops complement each other: The 5 visits Columbus Road, The Plains, Union Street, O’Bleness Hospital and the West Side neighborhood before returning uptown, while the 6 will run a similar path in the opposite direction, beginning with the West Side neighborhood and leaving town on West Union, returning on Columbus Road.
In town, the two loops will combine to provide what is essentially back-and-forth service in the Union Street and Columbus Road business corridors. “6 to go, 5 to return” is the phrase to remember for W Union Street destinations; “5 to go, 6 to return” works for Columbus Road.
There is one major difference between the two loops: Route 6 follows a straighter path through The Plains and has time to visit the Village of Chauncey as a result! The bus route also stops at the County Home on Rt. 13. The expansion is funded through a federal Job Access Reverse Commute grant, and the Department of Job and Family Services has been an important local matching partner. There are now thousands of job locations that will be transit accessible to new groups of rural residents.
Keep an eye out for temporary bus stop signs dotted along the path of the new 6 – besides numerous locations in West Athens, there will be signs at The Plains library and at the Chauncey post office and elementary school building. And remember: anywhere outside the Athens City limits is a hail zone – you can hail the bus (wave it down) and it will stop to let you board at the nearest safe location!
Spread the word and check back often. APT staff will be updating this site and other information sources with new maps, timetables, and other information. Call 740-592-272 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about the new service.