A necessary service – By Vicki Hyatt – North Carolina News

A necessary service – By Vicki Hyatt –  North Carolina News

CANTON — In many rural communities, public transportation is hard to find.

The small population base, along with vast distances to central business districts or medical complexes, makes it expensive to run regular routes and schedules.

Haywood Public Transit has found a way to fill many of the transportation voids, however, through its demand-response service.

Individuals such as Irene Noys, said she wouldn’t be able to hold a job without the service provided by Haywood Public Transit.

Noys grew up in large cities where there were multiple types of public transportation — buses, trains and taxis — that filled in. But when she and her sister moved to Canton in 2000, she found an entirely different situation.

“I never learned to drive,” Noys said, “and I would have to ask my family or friends to take me places. After a while they get tired of that, and then I found out about Haywood Public Transit.”

Noys lives on Newfound Street and works at the Dairy Queen on Champion Drive, which would be a 2.5 mile walk.

“I’m going to be 63 this year, and that’s a long way to walk if you aren’t a walker, which I’m not,” she said.

She is on a schedule where Haywood Public Transit picks her up each morning around 9 a.m. and arrives to take her home between 3:30 and 4 p.m. There is another worker who works a similar shift at McDonald’s on Champion Drive, so they are often on the same van.

“It’s just $2 per ride,” Noys said. “I don’t mind $2.”

On days she needs to go to the credit union, it is an additional $2 for the stop. The same is true if she wants to travel to Wal-Mart or just spend the day shopping or going to lunch in…

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