Stores paying for bus service for older shoppers


Four Columbia-area shopping centers will pay for biweekly bus service to take senior citizens from Owen Brown Place and Parkview at Columbia to their businesses, beginning today.

State Sen. Martin G. Madden organized the effort between Eyre Bus & Travel in Glenelg and merchants of The Mall in Columbia, Dobbin Center, Snowden Square and Wal-Mart.

Every other Wednesday, a bus will make two round trips, taking about 40 senior citizens from Owen Brown and Parkview to the shopping centers at no charge. The four centers will pay the $300 for each trip.

Many seniors citizens who don't drive say they have a hard time getting to the shopping centers using the existing public transportation, run by the Howard Area Transit Service (HATS) in Columbia.

"The [Columbia] bus doesn't go to all the places seniors want to go," said Rudy Tyrell, president of Parkview's resident council. "Most of the senior citizens don't have cars and they really need some way to go to the stores they like."

Wanda Hurt, a Columbia Council member from Owen Brown village, said: "With HATS you're talking about transfers and waiting just to get somewhere. For seniors, they can't stand all day waiting an hour here and there. This is direct service for them."

If there are enough riders, the bus service will continue beyond Jan. 14, Tyrell said.

There are two pickups at Owen Brown and Parkview today -- one is at 10 a.m. and the other is at 11: 13 a.m. Passengers will be taken back at 1: 33 p.m. and 2: 48 p.m.

Pub Date: 10/22/97

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