Athens Public Transit formally announced its new pilot route to Nelsonville and Albany in ceremonies in both communities on Wednesday. Line 7 will begin running today, Aug. 1.
Wednesday morning, local officials, community partners and the general public attended an event at Center Albany at 5196 Washington Road in Albany. Funders of the program spoke before a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Later in the morning, the ceremony for Nelsonville was at the Nelsonville Public Library.
The first day of full service on Aug. 1 (today) will offer free rides for all Athens Public Transit routes, according to a news release.
The pilot route to Nelsonville and Albany is funded for six months, with future service contingent on acquiring more funding. Stops will include Center Albany and Close to Home in Albany, and Hocking College and Public Square in Nelsonville. Times for each stop are available at athenstransit.org or by calling 740-592-2727.
Athens Public Transit is a program of Hocking Athens Perry Community Action (HAPCAP). Currently, the program serves the city of Athens, the Plains and Chauncey. After much input from the community, development from HAPCAP staff, and the support of various community partners, the transit service is now able to reach into the western areas of Athens County.
In addition to Athens Public Transit, HAPCAP operates GoBus, Athens On Demand, Athens Mobility Management and Logan Public Transit. Athens Public Transit has grown significantly since 2011, with a 600% increase in ridership. In 2018, they served over 500,000 riders.
Funding for Line 7 is provided by the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, the Sisters Health Foundation, Integrated Services for Behavioral Health, Hopewell Health Centers, Inc., the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities, the Athens County Commissioners, the Athens County Foundation, the Athens County Department of Job & Family Services, the City of Nelsonville, the Village of Albany, and Stuart’s Opera House.