County working out details of transit system

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
Salisbury post
CHINA GROVE ó A proposed transit system linking Salisbury with the Kannapolis-Concord system is moving closer to reality.
Now the town must find two locations for the service to stop for passengers.
The van and bus system, known as Rowan Express, is set to get under way the first week in October. It will start at the train station in Salisbury and end at the train station in Kannapolis, where riders can use the CK bus system to access malls and CMC-Northeast. Residents of southern Rowan will have access to county offices, shopping and Rowan Regional Medical Center.
Bill Pless, acting town manager, updated the China Grove Board of Aldermen this week on the new service.
Pless said Landis is joining the system, so there will be one or two stops in that town.
With the price of gas headed to $4 a gallon, Pless said organizers are optimistic that the vans will be full and larger vehicles will be needed.
“Not having a big enough vehicle is a good problem,” Pless said.
Current plans call for Rowan Express to start with two round trips originating in Salisbury and two from Kannapolis, starting at 6 a.m. The schedule will be repeated in the evening, ending around 6 p.m. Vans will run early morning and late evening routes to provide transportation for workers.
Rowan Transit System will operate the service.
Representatives of the county and the municipalities involved are meeting at the China Grove Municipal Building to work out the final details.
Pless said the site of the stops, the fare and exact schedule are details yet to be determined.
A publicity campaign will kick off later this summer to make the public aware of the service and attract riders. Kannapolis will handle the publicity campaign using its public information officer.
A federal grant is paying for the majority of the costs for the initial period.