Mary Bailey wasn’t sure how she would get around after her vehicle was totaled in a 2009 wreck.
Like so many others who rely on Dawson County Transit, Bailey would be at home by herself most days if the buses weren’t available.
Instead, she’s able to enjoy the company of her friends at the Dawson County Senior Center.
Bailey, who lives about eight miles west of Dawsonville, was one of the first people Monday to ride the new buses the local transit system received through a state Department of Transportation grant last week.
“Oh, they were wonderful, so spacious and comfortable with air conditioning and all that stuff,” she said Monday morning as she pieced together a puzzle at the senior center.
The county received the two new buses last week in the first round of stimulus funding to replace two older models that had topped 100,000 miles, said Margie Weaver, director of the senior center.
The center oversees public transportation in the county. The buses are valued at about $45,000 each.
“We’ll also be awarded a third new bus later on this year that we’ll receive through another grant that we applied for this year,” Weaver said.
The buses, she said, are particularly important to older members of the community because they help them “get to the doctor, to buy their groceries and to buy their medications.”
The buses also take local seniors to the center, which is by Veterans Memorial Park.
That’s where Bailey can be found “about five days a week, or as many times as I can make it depending on my health.”
“I just love it,” she said.
The buses are also available for a small fee to any county resident needing transportation. The transit system asks that riders call at least a day in advance for pickup.
“We want to stress that anyone in need of a ride or in need of transportation to work, to doctor appointments or for any other reason, it is available,” said County Manager Kevin Tanner.