Memorial Day Service for CAT Riders, a Welcome Relief
For the first time in years, the Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) provided bus rides on Memorial Day. The bus system operated under its Sunday schedule running its free trolley and the number seven bus until about 5:00 Monday evening.
Many riders, including Samantha Robbins, are thankful for this year's additional schedule because they didn't have many alternative options. "I'm happy that they're running on Memorial Day. I'm actually on my way to work, so without them I wouldn't be able to go to work on Memorial Day," said Robbins.
Fashion Square Mall employee Barry Tucker was in a similar situation. He said, had it not been for the bus system operating Monday, he would have walked 45 minutes. Tucker also said it would have been most convenient if his usual bus were operating today as well.
"Me personally, I wish all of them would run because I'm on the end where five is and it isn't running today, so I had to walk a distance to catch seven," said Tucker.
Bus rider J.R. Coleman, who also works at Fashion Square, faced similar challenges trying to make it to work. "I'm happy they're running. I don't have to take a cab, but I would rather be on schedule because I usually take the five now I got to take the seven," said Coleman.
The Memorial Day Service comes just two weeks after protesters rallied on the downtown mall asking city council to fund full service hours on Sundays and legal holidays. Community activist Paul Long spearheaded that protest and says he's glad the city is providing service on Memorial Day, but says there are still many people who will be left out.
"There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of people who work on legal holidays including UVA and Martha Jefferson, many at hotels and the restaurants", said Long. He continued, "People who work at these places are dependent for their economic livelihood."
Long says the city should do a better job catering to people who cannot afford a car or cab rides. He plans to host a meeting at The Jefferson Madison Regional Library downtown this Saturday. He plans to start a Transit Riders Union for people who have similar concerns.
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Natalie Wilson joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2012.Full Story
Natalie Wilson joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2012. She is a proud alum of Howard University and is currently pursuing her Master's in Communication at Johns Hopkins. Email/ Full Story