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      Donation will help keep PDRTA buses rolling in Darlington County

      Genesis Health Care of Darlington gave $5,000 to the Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority (PDRTA) to help keep buses on the road in greater Darlington County.

      PDRTA has operated Darlington Transit or DART since 2010.

      The transportation authority has cut 70% of its workforce and service routes throughout the Pee Dee due to its financial situation.

      PDRTA's revenues started to decline several years ago when state officials changed the way they contract the Medicaid transportation program.

      Genesis Healthcare says it decided to help out because so many of its patients depend on PDRTA to get them to and from medical appointments.

      "We want to show them (PDRTA) that businesses like ours are very dependent on this and our patients are very dependent and we support. So, we're hoping that the money that we have given is seed money to start an interest and to say we're really interested in this and we really want it to do for it to happen for our patients," said Tony Megna, CEO PDRTA.

      The transportation authority's executive director, Charles MacNeil, says they requested $50,000 from Darlington City and County Council to help fund the DART Program.

      MacNeil says they've got about $25,000 of the money, and the Genesis Healthcare donation will help to make up the difference.

      "We hope that we will be able to build on this momentum and that other stakeholders in the region will follow the good examples being set by in this case Genesis Health Care," said Charles MacNeil, Executive Director PDRTA.

      DART operates hourly Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

      It also transports students to Florence Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University.