ROCK HILL, SC (FOX 46) - Rock Hill's continued development has accelerated the need for a public transportation system.
"It’s growing more every day. Every time we go to a meeting, there are developers coming in and wanting to make Rock Hill even better because they see potential in jobs coming in for people," City Council member Ann Williamson said.
The City of Rock Hill expects to see the population grow to the 100,000 mark much quicker than anticipated. So Mayor Doug Echols is pushing for the modernization of Rock Hill and the bus transit is part of that transformation.
"It's a good step in the right direction for progression especially with all the growth that is happening around in South Carolina," Chester resident Brandon Grant said
The only current bus route in Rock Hill is operated by CATS. There are only two stops, one by East White Street and the other by Manchester Cinemas. Also, it only picks up commuters heading to and from Charlotte in the mornings and afternoons.
"I believe we need it real bad because like I said, everyone has got it but us and the bus that do come from Charlotte only pick up people in certain locations," Rock Hill resident Felix Winburnn said.
The proposed plan for the bus transit will bring seven electric busses and four new bus routes.
"This is keeping our community clean, and we believe in clean and green Rock Hill," City Council member Williamson said.
"That’s a better step toward progression. It’s saving the planet," Grant said.
The buses will go through fast growing areas like Knowledge Park, Cherry Road, University City and Dave Lyle Boulevard
The ride will be complete fare free and will have an app where you can track the location of the bus.
“No money coming out of the pocket of the citizens. We are not increasing any taxes to cover this. This is a win, win system for everyone involved,” City Council member Williamson said
According to the city, the plan would cost about $2.67 million and most of it will be paid for by federal grants and the city's partnerships with local businesses.
City council member Williamson says the hope is the new bus system will entice people to move and work in rock hill and helping the city to grow economically.