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County should continue supporting bus service

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By Ralph Damiani

The news coming out of Atomic City Transit has been pretty good.Since the county took over the bus service in October, picking up and dropping off passengers throughout the county, ridership has shown a huge increase.The county service, initiated Oct. 1, reportedly had a stable ridership at about 7,000 passenger trips per month. But in January, passenger trips climbed to 11,910, with passenger trip totals for White Rock more than doubling.This is good news. In this day and age of increasing fuel costs and concerns for the environment, taking the bus makes pure sense. It not only saves money – it is good for the Earth.A good part of this is the fact that the rides are free and we hope that the county keeps this up. We know that it is a drain on the budget but of all the things the county spends money on, this one should be a priority.We have to agree with comments from county officials that this increase demonstrates how much residents want and need a public transit system.The only issue is with the lab and its route. We hope that cool heads prevail there and an agreement can be reached. Clearly, there is an interest here and we hope that small turf wars don’t cause a greater harm to us all.For information on this service, call 661-RIDE (661-7433) from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or go to www.AtomicCityTransit.com.Let’s support this system and urge the council to do all it can to keep it free.