PDRTA hoping 2014 won't be a repeat of last year

Officials with the Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority(PDRTA) are in the process of balancing the budget for this year.

The Executive Director, Charles MacNeil, says he's hoping it won't be a repeat of last year.

The organization's financial problems forced it to sell buses, cut 80 jobs and drastically reduce routes in 2013.

"It hasn't been impossible. You know we've survived this year. Not only survived this past year, but not withstanding the incredible change to our organization," said MacNeil.

He said it was a tough past year with less money and more oversight from federal authorities.

"It's necessary to make sure that we're eliminating fraud and things like that to make sure we're being very responsible and accountable for public funds," explained MacNeil.

MacNeil said based on somehow balancing the budget for 2013, he doesn't anticipate any major financial problems with this year's budget.

He still plans to ask cities and counties that helped PDRTA last year to increase their annual funding to the organization.

MacNeil is hoping they'll be able to maintain services and possibly add restore routes cut last year.

The budget has to be balanced by June.

The Transportation Authority makes about 435,000 trips a year through its scheduled routes and demand responses.

The authority receives federal and state grants primarily for capital equipment such as vehicles, according to its website.

It says federal and state grants require a percentage of matching funds.

Since 1976, PDRTA has provided services in Florence, Darlington, Dillon, Marion, Marlboro and Chesterfield counties.