Anonymous Altavista Donor Gives Everyone a Free Ride

Reporter: Shelley Basinger

Altavista, VA - It may be the extra boost Altavista's new transit system needs.

For the next three months, a generous donor has made sure all bus rides are free. A town resident is footing the bill of $300 per month in June, July, and August.

But if riders want to thank someone, they're out of luck. The donor wants to remain anonymous.

Town officials got the call two weeks ago.

"I was like, this is pretty amazing... it's very generous for a citizen of Altavista to provide that to us," said Assistant Town Manager Daniel Witt.

The donor had a request at first.

"Initially, the idea was to provide fares for kids, teenagers who might want to ride the bus to get them used to riding the bus," said Witt.

But after some talks, they decided to let everyone have a free ride. The deal is already filling more seats and improving ridership.

"I've seen within the last two weeks since we got started, it has just greatly improved," said bus driver Chuck Cheatum.

It may be the talk of town. But this donor is still staying silent about their good deed.

"I just think that this is something that they want to do that they feel is very beneficial to our community," said Witt.

The town's bus system started up in January. It was paid for with a grant from the Commonwealth Transportation Board and matching funds from the town.