Campbell Co., VA - Free transportation coming soon for those in Campbell County and Altavista.
For the third year in a row, the Town of Altavista will offer free bus rides beginning in June and going through the end of September. An anonymous donor is making it happen once again. The same donor has done it year after year.
The donations to keep the rides free total $1600, $400 a month for four months.
Many locals say it is nothing short of a blessing.
"That's my favorite seat right there," said rider Edna Davis. "Oh quite often like four or five times a week. Sometimes more than that."
Davis was kind enough to share the seat next to her. She was overwhelmed when she got wind of the good news.
"I jumped up and down! I couldn't get back up but I jumped up and down!" Exclaimed Davis. "I was just so happy and so blessed for people who God has blessed, so they can be a blessing to somebody else. So that's really great."
"That's really nice, somebody would do that. I wouldn't think nobody would put that kind of money into something for a little town like Altavista," said Bus Driver Carlton Francis.
The news comes at a great time. According to recent data, ridership is actually up 22%. In 2011, there were nearly 11,000 riders. In 2012, more than 15,000, and the way the numbers are stacking up so far, 2013 will see even more foot traffic.
"We're very fortunate to have it. and it's being utilized to a great extent by our citizens," said Altavista Assistant Town Manager, Dan Witt.
It is one of very few bus systems in the country offered to a town of fewer than 3,500 people. The only system remotely similar to Altavista's is 80 miles away in the town of Blackstone.
"We're hoping that, in the future like Blackstone, we'll be a hub for Pittsylvania County, Campbell County," said Witt.
Officials from Altavista traveled to Blackstone and actually patterned their bus system to mirror that of Blackstone's.
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