Some people with disabilities who depend on public transportation are now finding out that's coming to an end. A Coast RTA bus route will be cancelled on Sunday because of lack of funding.
The cancelled route will impact about 40 passengers, like Samantha Hoy of Conway, who depends on the program for a ride and a friend.
Almost six years ago, Hoy lost her father. Since his death, she's suffered from severe anxiety. It's so bad that she can barely ride in a car.
"If I was to get up, I would open the door and try to get out while the car was going, and I would get hurt," she explained.
So Hoy started using the CATS Plus program, which not only helps her get around, but offers riders like Hoy a friend to talk with.
"They treat me like so special, like royalty, and to me, that relaxes me. It makes me want to get out, It makes me want to get dressed. It makes me want to go to school, and school is a purpose for me to get out," she explained.
But Coast RTA General Manager Myers Rollins said they are cancelling the program after not being able to find any alternative funding.
"The bottom line is the agency is under funded, and we have to really address that issue in order to restore this type of service on an ongoing, uninterrupted basis," Rollins explained.
Hoy explained that without Coast RTA to pick her up, she'll be stuck at home.
"I not only lose a ride, I lose my friendship with these people, I won't see them anymore."
Rollins explained that Coast RTA is now looking towards a van pool program that would address needs of passengers like Hoy in the future.
He explained that the program would use vans instead of buses and would be more cost-efficient, but we wouldn't see this program up and running until July of next year at the earliest.