Meeting about Columbus METRA services expanding to be held

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Debate over Columbus METRA services expansion is resurfacing after a presentation to the city council earlier this month from its director, Rosa Evans. The council wanted to expand to provide more services for those with disabilities while ensuring the service grows with the city.

Roneldo Morrison and his director, Kirk Holcomb, at Access Independence, are working on METRA passes for their clients. It’s a service the organization provides to its clients who are physically disabled. They say backlash over the service expansion puts their clients at risk for a limited lifestyle.

Morrison, a military veteran shot in combat, is now wheelchair-bound and is a rider of the METRA system. He says that based on his recent move to the other side of town, he and others like him need to be able to move around.

In order to hear the concerns of Morrison and others, there will be a public hearing for those who need the service expanded to voice their concerns. The proposal is to expand at least a mile and a half outside the route system, especially for those who use the Dial-a-Ride service.

Back in early September, the director of METRA Transit said the current system has federal regulations, and finances are tight, which means an expansion shouldn’t happen now, and the system should stick to its ten routes.

Morrison and Holcomb say the council and transit system need to do what’s right.

There will be two separate meetings where the public can weigh in on the discussion. Those dates are Tuesday, Oct. 3 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the City Services Center and Thursday, Oct. 5 at the Columbus Civic Center, starting at 5 p.m.

Katrice Nolan

Katrice Nolan

Katrice joined News Leader 9 in May 2022.