Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New bus services connects small TN communities

USA Today NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Bus service linking several small Tennessee communities to large cities will start this week with a route connecting Nashville and Lawrenceburg, about 70 miles south. The network of bus routes will connect more than 40 towns to bigger cities throughout the state. More than $3.6 million in federal transportation funds will be provided to transit companies and community groups to create the new services. Anchor Trailways received $2.5 million to operate the Lawrenceburg to Nashville line and the company will operate another series of bus lines in West Tennessee. "When this is all done, folks from rural areas that are having such a hard time with unemployment are going to have a chance to get on a bus at a reasonable rate and get to urban areas where they can find more employment opportunities," said Mark Szyperski, director of business development for Anchor Trailways. Julie Oaks, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, told The Tennessean that the service will benefit a wide range of people, including work commuters, sightseers and travelers looking to link up with other bus services. Other lines will connect Nashville to Wayne County in the southeast, Montgomery County to the northwest and Cumberland County to the east. The number of times the buses will run will depend on the service, but Oaks said some lines will operate seven days a week and make multiple trips on some days. The Nashville-to-Lawrenceburg bus will typically make two trips in each direction during the week and one round-trip on the weekends, Szyperski said. The line will include stops in Ethridge, Columbia, Spring Hill, Franklin, downtown Nashville, the Donelson Music City Star station and the Nashville International Airport. A round-trip ticket from Lawrenceburg to Nashville during the week costs about $38.

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