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New company proposed to run Augusta transit

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Mobility is out, and McDonald is in. City Administrator Fred Russell has pitched the Texas-based transportation company as the best option for running Augusta's bus system for the next three years.

"They scored highly, they were able to do that," explained Russell. "They've got experience in other places, the committee recommended them. I reviewed that recommendation and concurred."

The Richmond County Commission is under a major time crunch; the contract with current operator Mobility is set to end on July 31. If the McDonald contract or an alternative isn't approved by then,  Russell says the bus system could shut down!

"I don't think that's what anyone wants," he said. "They want a continuation of service, and enhancement of service, to better serve our citizens, in any way we possibly can. But without some direction, I'm not authorized to continue that after the end of July without some direction."

Due to the July 4th holiday, Tuesday's special called transit meeting only had four commissioners present, including Grady Smith. After hearing the proposal, he's hopeful for the future.

"I'd like to see it privatized, whatever's best for this county is what I'm for," said Smith.

His number one goal? Saving the taxpayer money.

"That's the way I look at it," he added. "And from what we've heard about this McDonald group, they fit the bill."

The future of Augusta transit is now in the hands of the full commission to decide at their next meeting.

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