Weirton Transit still studies growth

WEIRTON — The Weirton Transit Corp. Board of Trustees continues to look at options in order to expand its services in the future.

“We were going to try and roll out some of the expansion in January,” Assistant Manager Mark Henne said during the board’s meeting Wednesday.

Some information for the programs and services have taken longer to acquire, with Henne saying staff continues to look at implementing a non-emergency medical transport service, but needs better numbers on potential revenue and the number of clients.

The NEMT program is offered through the Department of Health and Human Resources

Board member Walter Angelini asked if there have been any recent changes to the program, noting it had been brought before the board previously, and they didn’t feel there would be much benefit.

“When we last discussed this, I got a negative impression,” Angelini said.

Henne said they were simply taking another look and gathering more up-to-date information.

Henne said if a NEMT program is started, it would need an additional dispatcher and at least one more driver.

Henne noted another obstacle is the acquisition of three new buses.

Weirton Transit had contracted with a company for the buses, which were expected to be completed late last year; however, the company was purchased and the deal has fallen through.

To assist with the project, state officials have worked to include Weirton Transit and other providers with a bus purchase being made through Kanawha Regional Transit, but it will push back the timeline for the local plan.

“It’s affecting our budget. It’s affecting our rollout for expansion. It’s affecting everything,” Henne said.

Beynon noted the issue also has affected Weirton Transit’s ability to order parts for the buses.

Board member Brian Maley asked if there was any possibility Weirton Transit could lose any funding because of the delays, but was told no.

The board also said they would need to begin making plans for a levy to be placed on the ballot in 2019, and would be meeting with state and local officials for assistance.

“We need to dust off that plan from a couple of years ago,” Maley said, referring to a previous levy attempt, which got voted down in 2015.

In other business, Henne said negotiations continue with ArcelorMittal on the installation of a bus shelter near the north end of Pennsylvania Avenue. It also was announced two applications have been received for vacant board positions.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

COMMENTS