Henderson County Community Transit

 

Public Transit Schedule
Shopping, Mealsite, Adult Daycare
Employment
Same Day/Next Day Medical
Rural General Public
Private Contracts
Workfirst
Special Events Bus/Van Rental
Trend Mental Health
Rides to doctor offices available

Back to:  Hendersonville, NC -- Upcoming Events

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Apple Country Transportation provides subscription and dial-a-ride transportation services for residents of Henderson County. Hours of operation are 6:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, please contact us at:

526 Seventh Avenue East
Hendersonville, NC 28793
tel (828) 698-8571 
    (828) 693-1711
fax (828) 697-4277 


Community transit
Apple Country Transportation provides subscription and dial-a-ride transportation services for residents of Henderson County. Hours of operation are 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. General public fare is $.50 per one-way trip, based on travel within designated zones. 


Rural General Public Back toTop
The general public can access our vans by requesting a seat on an existing route if the passenger lives 1.5 miles of the route.


Same Day/Next Day Medical Back toTop
Our vehicles provide medical trips for all ages to and from doctor’s offices, clinics and hospitals five days per week.


Private Contracts Back toTop
Available to human service agencies who need transportation for clients to and from desired services or for special functions. Also available for interested employment sites.


Senior Lunch Program Back toTop
Several routes are currently running daily to transport interested older adults (60+) to the Sammy Williams Senior Center for lunch and entertainment.


Workfirst Back toTop
Transportation is readily available to eligible clients who are part of these program(s) for employment, training, and/or educational purposes.
Shopping/Grocery Routes Back toTop
Daily trips for older adults (60+) are available to dozens of destinations to do necessary shopping. Saturday shopping are also offered regularly to places outside the county.


Special Events Bus/Van Rental Back toTop
A 20-passenger light transit bus and many high top vans can be used to accommodate private weddings and other special events/functions as requested.


Trend Mental Health Back toTop
Transportation is available for those in need of this agency’s daycare and/or counseling services.


Employment Back toTop
Five buses are currently traveling to and from such sites as SSEACO, Vocational Rehabilitation and other requested workplaces.

 

 

Some News Articles from this past year

 

Bus service gaining popularity

By Harrison Metzger
Times-News Staff Writer
June 29, 2002

The public bus service that started three weeks ago in Henderson County is doing a healthy business — so much so that organizers will start offering a pass for unlimited rides for $25 starting Monday.

Ridership on the three new air-conditioned light transit buses was 246 people the first week and topped 300 the second week of the service, said Javonni Burchett, director of Apple Country Transportation, which operates the service. The buses averaged 60 to 70 riders a day last week, she said.

“It has majorly exceeded what I thought we might get,” she said. “I thought we might get maybe six, eight. ... And this is only the third week.”

The buses run two routes every 55 minutes Monday through Friday, making stops around Hendersonville. There are also morning, midday and late afternoon shuttles to and from Etowah and Edneyville, and connections with a new inter-city bus service between Hendersonville, Fletcher and Asheville.

Rides cost 50 cents each. But starting Monday, riders will be able to buy a $25 pass good for unlimited rides until June 2003.

People can pay for the passes at Apple Country’s offices at Western Carolina Community Action, 526 Seventh Ave., then ride the bus to the YMCA which is producing the photo identification cards, Burchett said. 

“The Y has gone all out to put together the template and the computer program,” she said.

Young people so far are the top riders of the service, followed by tourists and senior citizens.

Darrel Stevenson, 21, and his wife, Patricia, 18, have been riding the buses for most of the past two weeks. They moved here from Jacksonville and are staying at the Hendersonville Rescue Mission while they search for jobs.

Like a lot of folks the new public transit system was designed to help, the Stevensons don’t own a car.

“It’s nice — It’s better than the ones (buses) I knew in Palm Beach, Fla.,” she said. “They are really comfortable. The seats aren’t like other buses.”

The couple had just applied at several businesses in the Blue Ridge Mall.

“We’re looking for anything right now, anything that will hire us,” he said.

Having the buses makes it easy to get around town for job interviews, they said. They plan to continue riding the service once they get jobs.

Bus driver Jim Hart said he has averaged about 21 people during his afternoon rounds. The buses make 18 stops around town at signed bus stops.

Riders like the brand new buses, he said.

“People like it — they are really happy with it,” he said. “We get more people everyday.”

Burchett said she has gotten 118 phone calls about the service, mainly from high school students and other young people.

“The high school students are all wanting the transit pass when school starts (in August),” she said. “They can get out of school, go to the library, go the library, the mall. ... It gives them something to do.”

The most popular stop on the routes so far is the Wal-Mart Supercenter, Burchett told the Henderson County Transportation Advisory Committee Thursday. Wal-Mart donated $10,000 to help start the service, which is also being funded by a $156,000 state grant.

“Wal-Mart has got a tent set up and two benches,” Burchett said. “They had so many people waiting for the bus they were worried about people standing out in the sun.”

McDonald’s, which pitched in money for benches and signs, is selling booklets of 20 bus passes for $9, a $1 discount. The booklets also include a coupon for a free ice cream cone, she said.

Meanwhile, the inter-city bus service, known as the Asheville-Hendersonville Connection, will soon adjust its routes to include the Opportunity House, Tarheel Lanes and Smiley’s Flea Market on U.S. 25 North, she said.

More information on the local bus service is available by calling 698-8571.

 

Rides to doctor offices available

By Harrison Metzger
Times-News Staff Writer
March 19, 2002

Residents of Henderson, Transylvania, Polk and 14 other mountain counties can now use public transit to ride to non-emergency medical appointments in other counties.

Since January, public transit providers in 17 Western North Carolina counties and the Cherokee Indian Reservation have been coordinating their services through the new Cross County Transit service.

In Henderson County, for instance, public transit provider Apple Country Transportation might take a resident from Transylvania, Polk or Rutherford counties to hospitals in Asheville. Apple Country is also offering more same-day medical transportation trips in the county.

Agencies that provide public transit are using a Web site set up through the N.C. Department of Transportation to coordinate trips. They have shared the driving on more than 200 trips since starting the service in January, said Javonni Burchett, coordinator of Apple Country Transportation.

The same services used to sometimes see each other’s vans passing on Interstate 26 and other roads, Burchett said. For Apple Country, each trip to Asheville tied up a van and driver for about a half a day.

Residents pay on a sliding scale based on income and depending upon whether they have Medicaid or Medicare, Burchett said.

A new intercity bus service planned between Asheville, Fletcher and Hendersonville should offer a lower cost alternative for people to get to non-emergency medical appointments, Burchett said.

DOT is working with Young’s Transportation to contract for the service, said Linda Giltz, a transportation planner with Land-of-Sky Regional Council.

Plans call for buses to run several times a day from Asheville Transit Station to Hendersonville with stops in Fletcher. The cost from Hendersonville to Asheville is expected to be $3 one-way or $5 round-trip, Giltz said. From Fletcher to Asheville or Fletcher to Hendersonville, the cost would be $2 one-way and $3 round-trip.

DOT and Young’s Transportation are still working out details of the contract. DOT officials said recently they hope to have the service running in April, Giltz said.

A community needs assessment the Henderson County Partnership for Health conducted last year found medical transportation was a top need. The group worked with Apple Country to start same-day medical transportation within the county, said Anya Petersen-Frey, director.

Patients who need transportation to medical appointments can call Apple Country at 693-1711 the morning of their appointment to set it up, Petersen-Frey said.

“It is free of charge. However if people have Medicaid or Medicare, we will charge those as appropriate,” she said.

Since starting the service more than three months ago, Apple Country is getting about 18 to 24 calls a day for same-day medical transportation, she said. The agency is able to provide transportation for eight to 10 of those patients and refers the rest to Fish Medical Transport, a volunteer group that offers rides to medical appointments.

“There are still about two or three people (daily) who are turned down and not able to get transportation just because of need for drivers,” Petersen-Frey said.

She and Burchett are working to get additional money for the same-day service. People interested in volunteering for FISH as drivers or as callers helping schedule trips can call Myrl Jean Hughes, secretary of the group, at 891-5556.

 

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Hendersonville bus routes to be revised, expanded

HENDERSONVILLE - Officials from the N.C. Department of Transportation and Henderson County's Transportation Advisory Committee hope plans are picking up speed for buses to begin driving through downtown Hendersonville and four outlying areas of the county this summer.

The state recently allocated $27,560 for a fixed-route public transportation system in Henderson County.

Hendersonville's Apple Country Transportation will use that money to begin service in July and has requested an additional $110,238 from the Department of Transportation to continue through June 2003.

This week NCDOT consultant Kevin Ritz met with representatives of Henderson County's Transportation Advisory Committee and Apple Country Transportation to revise the bus routes and offer his opinion on the program's budget.

After expanding the bus schedule to include Blue Ridge Community College, the Henderson County Travel and Tourism Visitors Center and Hendersonville High School, Ritz gave his personal approval of the program.

"The plan for Henderson County is the best put together and has the most local support of any plan I've ever read," Ritz said Wednesday. "My feeling is that if we don't approve $110,000 for this, I don't see how we can approve anything."

The revised routes call for Apple Country Transportation to run two city buses five days a week between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. with four shuttle buses connecting Etowah, Edneyville, Flat Rock and East Flat Rock to the central Hendersonville routes.

In addition to new stops at BRCC and the high school, buses will travel to Pardee Hospital, downtown Hendersonville, Four Seasons Boulevard, the County Office Building and the I-176 Fresh Market at least once every 50 minutes.

Jack Lynch, co-chair of the county's Transportation Advisory Committee, found Ritz's input encouraging but said he will remain cautious about the proposal until full funding is approved by the N.C. Board of Transportation when it meets in July.

 

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New bus service holds promise

People who need to travel to Asheville from Hendersonville, Fletcher or Black Mountain will soon have a new option for making the journey, and that's good news for those who don't have, or would prefer not to drive, cars. It also promises to help the environment by reducing toxic automobile emissions and to help relieve traffic congestion on busy roads leading to and from Western North Carolina's largest city.

Because the routes will be limited at first, the initial benefits will be modest. But if the new bus service catches on, it could prove a major step toward making Western North Carolina a far more congenial place for those who either need, or would prefer, to let someone else do the driving.

Separate private transportation service providers will serve Hendersonville and Black Mountain, but both routes will be subsidized by the N.C. Department of Transportation. Young Transportation Service of Asheville will operate an Asheville-to-Fletcher-to-Hendersonville and back route, according to Regional Planner Linda Giltz of Land-of-Sky Regional Council.

Asheville Transit System will run a route between Black Mountain and Asheville. Both routes will begin in January or February.

N.C. DOT is putting up about $113,000 for the Hendersonville route. Hendersonville City Council agreed to give $5,000 and Fletcher Town Council chipped in another $1,500. It's heartening to see the Department of Transportation beginning to subsidize means of transportation it has largely ignored in the past. It's also heartening to see these local governments recognize the need for, and support means, of transportation that will reduce traffic congestion on their streets and provide an important service for many of their constituents.

Asheville-Buncombe VISION, a long-range planning group deserves credit for bringing the issue of public transit to the forefront. Increasing public transit was one of the original goals of the visioning process, which began in 1995. Last year, VISION held community dialogues on the issue of transportation, and the number one recommendation that came out of the project was to increase public transit.

To be successful, the routes will need to be established in a way that serves the greatest number of people.

Routes that would allow people who work in Asheville, but live in Hendersonville or Black Mountain, to take the bus every day instead of driving their cars would be a major plus.

It will also be important to get the word out to people who might not otherwise know the service is available. Using non-traditional ways of advertising the service, such as placing notices in water bills, tax bills or other such mailings, would be one way of spreading the word.

Kudos to all those who've helped make the new bus service happen. Here's hoping it's a big success.

 

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