"I couldn't get out of my house to get to work," said Bartow County Transit Director Charles Fluellen, adding this was the most snow he has seen in Cartersville in more than 15 years. "[We received the message] that the courthouse was closed. So with us being part of the county government, then we just follow that procedure in inclement weather. So therefore, we could not get our drivers in to get to work and put the vehicles out on the road.
"There are a lot of people who are depending on us to [travel to] medical appointments. There are people who are in wheelchairs [and] who have to depend on us to get them [places] as well. A lot of people depend on us to get them to school [such as] North Metro or Chattahoochee Tech. We have people depending on us to get their groceries. Those are things that are as important as those who are going to work and things of that nature. So this weather will definitely have an adverse affect on those people ... and most of those folks will understand that [we are not able] to get in to work and get out to certain parts of the county where the roads are pretty bad and the road department hasn't been able to get to them because they are in the most rural parts of the county."
Operating from Monday to Friday, Bartow County Transit averages 150 passengers per day with its eight shuttle vans, four of which are wheelchair accessible. For each trip, there is a $1 charge for individuals 6 and older, with transportation to Rome and from Acworth to Adairsville costing $5 and $2.50 respectively.
According to www.bartowga.org, "Bartow County Transit is the lead agency of general public transportation services in Bartow County. If you need transportation, we may be able to transport you to medical appointments, shopping locations and local senior centers throughout Bartow County. .... Anyone requiring non-emergency transportation is eligible to ride Bartow Transit. Children five and under must be in a car-seat and Transit does not provide these accommodations. You must be at least 17 years of age to ride without a parent."
To schedule a ride, reservations are required. People should contact Bartow County Transit at 770-387-5165 -- at least 24 hours in advance and prior to 2:30 p.m. for next day pick-up -- Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. When calling, individuals need to leave their name, address, telephone number, when they require transportation and their destination.
As of 11 a.m. Monday, Bartow County government had not decided whether Bartow County Transit would be operational today. Fluellen said the decision would be made by the Bartow County Commissioner's Office, which can be reached at 770-387-5030. He also encourages people who need to schedule a pick-up appointment to call Bartow County Transit. With Wednesday's service already being near capacity, he said most appointments probably would be placed for Thursday, Friday and Monday.