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State, regional and county officials watch as Douglas County Chairman Romona Jones and Commissioner Tarenia Carthan unveil a plaque commemorating the launch of Connect Douglas June 19.

Douglas County’s new fixed-route bus service launched Thursday, June 20, featuring four daily routes inside the county and a link with Cobb County’s bus system and MARTA.

The new Connect Douglas system features 12-passenger buses which will run along four routes primarily in the city of Douglasville and eastern Douglas County.

Each bus can carry two wheelchairs and features bicycle racks, wheelchair lifts, audio announcement systems, fare boxes, security cameras and digital destination signs, a news release stated.

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners, through its Transportation Department, officially launched the bus system Wednesday, June 19, with a formal ceremony. County officials and a host of elected officials, dignitaries and members of the community celebrated the beginning of the services, , the release stated.

Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Kelly Robinson thanked former District 3 Commissioner Mike Mulcare for his efforts to make Connect Douglas a reality.

“Yes, there were opposing voices, but this is not a social class issue — it’s about options,” Robinson said. “I recognize what it means to folks such as part-time workers or those with jobs and no car.”

Connect Douglas Director Gary Watson said it was “a historic day for Douglas County.”

“It shows we want to go forward,” he said.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Romona Jackson Jones acknowledged a number of special invited guests in attendance, including Mike Boyce, chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners.

“Without the help of Chairman Boyce to allow our service to connect with CobbLinc, we could not be able to provide the enhanced opportunities for the public to attend Atlanta Braves baseball games at SunTrust Park or travel to other destinations in the city of Atlanta,” Jones said.

After the ceremony, Boyce said, “I am so excited for Douglas County but more importantly for Dr. Romona Jackson Jones. She’s inspirational.

“She had a vision and she had the conviction to follow through on it and the people of Douglas County and Cobb County are going to benefit for her efforts. I know Cobb County had a small part to play in its success,” Boyce said.

On the first day of Connect Douglas bus services, Marcia Cannedy had a positive reaction to the new service, the release stated.

Cannedy, who recently moved from Cobb County to Douglas County, said she formerly got a ride from a friend but now enjoys the freedom of visiting the county senior center on her own.

“It’s real good because, with me not driving, this service gives me a broader outlook on places to go and I don’t have to worry about transportation as much,” Cannedy said. “I visit the senior center a lot and I like being on my own.”

The new bus service has three components:

• Fixed Route, meaning the bus travels the same route and serves the same locations every day.

• Flex Route, which allows a rider to call ahead for the fixed route bus to deviate from its route and pick the rider up at any location within the area established for the service.

• ADA paratransit service for eligible disabled individuals who cannot get to established pick-up points on the route.

For more information about Connect Douglas transportation services, visit www.ConnectDouglas.com or call 770-949-7665 or email connectdouglas@co.douglas.ga.us.

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