FLORENCE, S.C. – The Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority has three new shiny blue and white, heavy-duty buses in its fleet that will hit the streets of Florence on Monday. A ribbon cutting was held at 313 S. Stadium Road, Florence, on Thursday to celebrate the launch of the 2020 Gillig Low Floor, 31-passenger buses.
Don Strickland, executive director, and James Jackson, PDRTA’s board chairman, both spoke at the occasion.
“They are a long time in coming,” Strickland said. “This is an exciting day.”
Strickland said the good thing is that no local funding was used in the purchase. He said the 35-foot buses were purchased with 100 percent federal funds, replacing three older buses with about 400,000 miles on them.
Strickland said the buses will provide an economic impact on the city.
Jackson said PDRTA has the full support of the board. He thanked the drivers for the work they do each day transporting people about their daily lives.
PDRTA has approximately 40 buses on the streets in six counties – Florence, Darlington, Chesterfield, Dillon, Marlboro and Marion – it serves. It also provides daily transportation to Myrtle Beach for people working at the beach from this area.
The buses run seven days a week, Strickland said.
In addition to more efficient and accessible transportation, the new fleet of vehicles will provide the passengers of the Florence Transit System with transportation opportunities to mirror those already used in Florence. Since 1974, PDRTA has been providing public transportation services throughout the area.
While four in ten PDRTA riders are commuting to work, riders also depend on PDRTA to access health care services, education, shopping and dining, recreation and more. PDRTA provides a way for people to address their transportation needs.
Buses routes take people downtown, the Florence Center, Florence Mall, Magnolia Mall, Sam’s/ Walmart, Florence-Darlington Tech, hospitals, doctor’s offices and other routes.
“Although we were facing a pandemic, PDRTA still provided over 270,000 safe, reliable, and affordable rides last year,” PDRTA said in a media advisory.
The buses are wheelchair accessible and have bike racks.
Strickland welcomed the new fleet additions as valuable and reliable resources for both community passengers and employees.