The Commonwealth’s Transportation Board has approved funding for the SoVA Regional Transportation Project’s demonstration grant. With this funding, new bus service in Halifax and Pittsylvania Counties could start this fall.
“The Danville Transit System is pleased to support this initiative to offer regional bus service and to facilitate public transportation access for citizens of Pittsylvania and Halifax Counties,” said Marc Adelman, Transportation Services Director for Danville Transit.
“By removing barriers to education and employment, this expansion not only helps strengthen our economy, it also enhances quality of life by providing citizens with increased access to health care, food and recreation,” said Dr. Betty Adams, Executive Director of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center.
Danville Transit will operate the new bus service, with the demonstration grant providing funding for three years. A transit feasibility study completed in May 2018 identified US Hwy 58 between Danville and South Boston, and US Hwy 29 between Danville and Hurt as the two corridors with the highest demand for service.
In Halifax County, a bus will make stops at Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, and at major employers located on Hwy 58. From there, the bus will travel to Danville. A second bus will provide service from Danville to Hurt with stops along 29 including Chatham, Gretna and Hurt, Virginia.
Although all funding is in place for the bus service, project leaders are concerned that a lack of drivers could stall the project. According to Danville Transit’s Transportation Services Director, Marc Adelman, several drivers are needed to fully staff the department so they can provide the new bus service. Currently, Danville Transit is facing a driver shortage which has caused the system to reduce the number of daily reservations it processes through the popular Reserve-A-Ride program. The system also has openings for three dispatcher positions. Without additional drivers and staff, Danville Transit will not have the capacity to add new bus service to Halifax and Pittsylvania Counties.
Danville Transit is recruiting for new drivers, and encourages interested individuals to visit https://agency.governmentjobs.com/danville/default.cfm to apply. A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is not required. Two job fairs have been scheduled to assist with recruiting additional drivers The first job fair is scheduled for June 28th from 8:30am to 4:00pm in South Boston at the Virginia Career Work Center at 2506, Houghton Ave, South Boston 24592. The second job fair is scheduled for July 12th at the Virginia Employment Commission at 211 NorDan Drive, Danville, Virginia 24540.