CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) -
Charlottesville Area Transit System launched its new schedules, stops, and routes Saturday.
“It is going well,” says CAT bus driver Charles Trice. “Everybody seems like they on time and I’ve had no problem so far.”
Changing a system that on average gives 6,000 rides and makes 400 stops every day is tough work.
“We are getting positive comments with how direct it is and how it's not looping all over the place,” says CAT coordinator Wesley Kern.
But the new system isn't going so smoothly for route 11 rider Kristin Arnold. She works at Martha Jefferson Hospital and says Pantops bus passengers are left in the lurch because they lost their only affordable way to work. The new system eliminates night service to Pantops.
“It is going to be a big inconvenience for me not to have the bus because I have to pay out of pocket for transportation because I don't have a car,” she says.
Patricia Vasquez also says cutting off night service forces her to walk from work at Pantops Shopping Center.
“It’s not safe, its dark you don't know where you are walking to,” Vasquez says. “You can get run over by a car.”
The city says it's looking for ways to help.
“I am hoping we can work with the county or maybe even with Martha Jefferson to figure out how we can get that last shift,” says Charlottesville Vice Mayor Kristin Szakos.
Arnold and Vasquez hope that happens fast.
“They should continue to make plans because we really should keep this route going because there are a lot of people who rely on it,” Arnold says.
CAT says it will continue to post notices of new routes in buses and on the web.
Riders with questions are encouraged to go to the downtown transit station where CAT says designated workers are trained and ready to help.