DANVILLE, Va. - Danville leaders have voted to accept state grant funds for regional bus service to Halifax and Pittsylvania counties.
Officials say the bus operation would involve an additional 24 hours of daily weekday service. Once extra drivers and administrative staff are hired, the new service could start.
In Halifax County, a bus will stop at Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, and at major employers along U.S. 58.
In Pittsylvania County, a second bus will go from Danville to Hurt with stops along Rte. 29 including Chatham, Gretna and Hurt.
Leaders say the new service would improve "employment, educational, shopping and medical opportunities for the region's residents by reducing transportation barriers for many citizens."
While no specific times were given, leaders say service schedules will align with shift time needs of major employers.
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation grant would cover operating expenses for the bus service, which is set to go from Danville to South Boston and Danville to Hurt.
Three buses have already been purchased, thanks to federal and state grants. A Tobacco Commission grant was awarded to the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center to finance the local cost for three buses and for the anticipated operating cost for three years.
The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation conducted a feasibility study for an 11-county area in Virginia. Once completed, the consultant firm recommended the service should be provided to the U.S. Rte. 29 and U.S. Rte. 58 corridors.
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