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City of Decatur launching GoDecatur shuttle on April 19

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City of Decatur launching GoDecatur shuttle on April 19

File Photo used for illustration purposes. Downtown Decatur. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated.

Decatur, GA — The city of Decatur and the Decatur Downtown Development Authority will launch a new shuttle service on Wednesday, April 19, to provide residents with transportation to various locations like Publix, CVS, the YMCA, Legacy Park and others. 

The Decatur Downtown Development Authority approved a resolution in support of the GoDecatur Circulator shuttle pilot program during its April 14 meeting. The DDA will fund the cost of the drivers for the length of the pilot program, which is about $10,000.

There will be two 12-passenger buses that run continuously from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday. There are no other activities planned during those times except for the circulator shuttle. Those days saw the highest ridership throughout the pilot program with Let’s Ride Atlanta, Planning and Economic Development Director Angela Threadgill said. 

The first shuttle will begin at the Decatur Recreation Center, and the second shuttle will begin at the Oakhurst Recreation Center. One of the shuttles is ADA-accessible. 

The DDA is currently partnering with Let’s Ride Atlanta and Publix to provide a shuttle between downtown Decatur and Publix at Sam’s Crossing Village. The 90-day pilot program ends on Tuesday, April 18. 

The GoDecatur shuttle will also be a pilot program to provide transportation between city residential neighborhoods and the city’s five commercial districts. The shuttle service is free and will run through November. 

“This is a way to pick up the service but expand the service,” Threadgill said. “The other part of the equation is that prior to the pandemic, the DDA also contributed to what was called the Go60+ shuttle. That was a service for our local seniors to access services in our downtown, in our other commercial districts. This is a marriage between the service of Let’s Ride Atlanta and the Go60+ shuttle that was in existence prior to the pandemic.” 

Threadgill added that the city is working on a permanent shuttle service. She anticipates a proposal for a permanent shuttle to come before the DDA toward the end of the year. The community has been asking for a shuttle service for quite some time, going back to the 2010 strategic plan and the city’s transportation plan, Threadgill said. 

The GoDecatur shuttle will not be age-restricted, but preference will be given to seniors. Some of the pickup points are primarily around senior residential areas. 

The buses operating the circulator are existing vehicles owned by the parks and recreation department, according to a press release. When not in use for other activities, they are slated to serve the GoDecatur Circulator, which will run in a continuous loop and include the following 15 stops:

– Decatur Recreation Center – 231 Sycamore Street

– Philips Tower – 218 E. Trinity Place

– Harmony Park – 630 East Lake Drive

– Oakview Walk – 1111 Oakview Road

– Oakhurst Recreation Center – 450 East Lake Drive

– Oliver House – 1450 Commerce Drive

– Park Trace Apartments – 700 Atlanta Avenue

– US Post Office – 520 W. Ponce de Leon Avenue

– Commerce Square/CVS Shopping Center – 225 W. Ponce de Leon Ave

– Clairemont Oaks – 441 Clairemont Road

– YMCA – 1110 Clairemont Road

– Town Square Condos/Pure Service Station – 249 E. Ponce de Leon Ave

– Publix/Sam’s Crossing – 2720 E. Ponce de Leon Ave

– Columbia Residences – 590 E. Freeman Street

– Legacy Park – 500 S. Columbia Drive

The timing of the full loop is about 45 minutes, but riders may wait up to 20 minutes before the next shuttle arrives, Threadgill said.

“Pick-up points at the senior residential communities and most destination points have lobby seating or outdoor benches for ridership, but not all,” Threadgill said. “For instance, CVS shopping center and the post office do not have benches. Riders will be provided with a phone number to call about service.”

In the press release, City Manager Andrea Arnold added that the city is thrilled to offer this service to the community, especially to seniors who relied on the Go60+ shuttle prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We heard loud and clear from our residents that easy access to a comprehensive circulator shuttle was a priority, so this marriage between the GO60+ shuttle and our recent supermarket transportation is another critical step toward fulfilling one of the core goals of the City’s 2020 strategic plan,” Arnold said.

Business Development Manager Shirley Baylis added that the Let’s Ride Atlanta pilot program allowed the city to collect data about the demand that impacted the development of the GoDecatur shuttle. 

“We discovered Monday and Wednesday were the most popular days, and 70% of riders utilized the service between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., which established the baseline schedule for this new service,” Baylis said. “With nearly an even split between residential locations and businesses offering goods and services among our stops, we are confident this will serve the broad needs of our residents.”

The shuttle is scheduled to begin running on April 19, 2023. For more information on the route and schedule, please the city’s website or contact Baylis at [email protected].

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