Tupelo bus study halfway funded

TUPELO – The city will fund half of an estimated $25,000 study of Tupelo’s public transportation needs, as recommended by a volunteer commission.
City Council members unanimously voted Tuesday to approve the money. They now await response from the Appalachian Regional Commission, which is considering a funding application for the other half of the study.
Mayor Jack Reed Jr. brought the item to the council and praised the city’s five-member Public Transportation Commission for its work since being established earlier this summer.
The group has met twice to examine the feasibility of a public transit system in Tupelo that would primarily serve the handicapped, elderly and poor but could also transport the general public.
Commission members decided last month the task surpassed their skill sets and opted to hire a professional public transportation consultant instead. That person would conduct a comprehensive study of the city’s needs, as well as the costs and infrastructure necessary to support the system.
Tupelo had a public bus route several decades ago. It also had a specialty bus service through the nonprofit group Lift Inc., but that route served only special-needs individuals and closed a couple years ago after funding problems.

Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal