MACON, Ga. — Businessman Blake Sullivan, who plans to run for mayor, posted a tweet saying, "Amazon built a bus stop at their new distribution center in South Macon. The Problem is our county has cut Macon Transit Authority's budget so deeply that we cannot serve Amazon."
Is that true? 13WMAZ set out to verify: Does the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority serve Amazon? Our source is President and CEO of the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority Craig Ross.
Darrius Grier lives 45 minutes away from the Amazon Fulfillment Center in south Bibb County. He says he usually sees coworkers sit at the bus stop waiting for a ride.
"A lot of people are carpooling and sharing rides," Grier.
Coworker Markelus Hall usually drives to work. He says not everyone has that luxury.
"Everybody should have a way to get to work, even if you have to walk or ride a bike or take the bus," said Hall.
13WMAZ spoke to Ross to find out if transit buses makes trips to the fulfillment center.
"No. Right now, it's no. I've had several conversations with Amazon's personnel department wanting to know if we were gonna be able to have service to their facility," said Ross.
Ross says those conversations happened before the budget process started with the county. So it's verified -- MTA doesn't serve Amazon, but Ross says they've never served any of south Bibb County because of a lack of funding.
He says the authority asked the county for a little more than $2.5 million that would help put all the buses on all existing routes and open a small route in the south Bibb County area that includes Amazon.
"But we only got $2.3 million," said Ross.
For now, people like Grier will have to find another way to get to work. He says he hopes that changes in the future.
"If they included public transportation for the employees out here, it would be really convenient and affordable," said Grier.
Ross says in 2018, more than 705,000 people rode the bus. He says MTA has about 38 buses in their fleet, but they only use about 20 of them in the morning. That number decreases throughout the day.
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