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Mayor fighting to keep Century ECAT services

Mayor fighting to keep Century ECAT services

If you live in Century, you can catch an ECAT bus three times a day, but ridership is low.

The Century route costs the county about $400,000.

One county commissioner has suggested there are eight routes on the ECAT system that could be eliminated to save $4 million every year.

Residents say losing what they have now could be costly to the community and its people.

Century local Xaverio Cuilking said, "Make me lose my education for going to school up there. Make me lose my transportation going to school."

Another resident, Daniel Arrington, said, "What would it do? It would make people rob, steal, and mug, you know that. They gotta do what they gotta do to survive."

Century's Mayor Henry Hawkins said bus service is crucial to the city's economic future.

Mayor Hawkins also said, "People will lose jobs, that's the basic bottom line, people will lose jobs. It's already hard for people to go to doctors because the busses are so scarce."

On Thursday, the mayor asked commissioners to give the town what they currently spend on the Century route so they could run it themselves.

Mayor Hawkins said, "Local to Walnut Hill, McDavid, the areas north of Cantonment, interlocal. Then have a bus meet in Cantonment and pick up people and take them to Pensacola."

Citizens think the mayor is onto something.

Century resident William Lowry said, "That would be good if he could do that. If he could do that that would be good. I agree with him."

Smaller buses and more frequent stops are part of the mayor's plan.

Some commissioners are skeptical but have agreed to discuss it at another meeting later in February.

The county transit director said the Century route is partially funded by a grant. He also said the idea of smaller buses is something already being discussed.

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