DILLON, SC (WMBF) - Dillon County council members recently approved funding to bring much-needed bus transportation services to the area.
Officials said Dillon County is the only county in the region without bus services, which is key when it comes to supporting industries and the workforce.
County Administrator Tony Clyburn said employers have lost workers in the past because of the lack of transportation.
“We’re the ones with the inland port and looking to improve with our industry and getting a lot more jobs coming in, so this is a necessity for us,” Clyburn said.
The Pee Dee Regional Transportation Service will cost $1.6 million per year for three years.
Clyburn said federal and state funding will cover $1.3 million for the first year. Many businesses in the area have also stepped up to help pay for the rest of first-year costs.
Stops would include Newton, Latta, Riverdale among others and provide a way for people to get to places like the doctor's office, grocery store and work.
“We have a profound need for this transportation, not just for veterans. It’s for senior citizens, people trying to work,” resident Ronald Crawford said.
Although Crawford has a car, he said he has trouble seeing when it’s dark.
“Some of my appointments are early in the morning and I miss some of them,” he said.
Ida Alexander also knows the everyday struggle of getting around. She’s currently battling cancer and said her medication makes trips to doctor appointments and the grocery store daunting tasks.
“I be like waiting to try to get my rides if I can’t drive myself. A lot of times I can’t because my mind doesn’t work like that at times,” she said.
Clyburn said they hope to have the service up and running before the beginning of next year.