A simple doctor’s visit for her son used to take the whole day for Kelley Bragg.
Before she got a car in 2015, the 48-year-old Chambersburg woman spent seven years relying on the little public transportation available in the area. She would schedule rides at least 24 hours in advance through the then-county-run shared ride service to get to the appointment on time.
Bragg and her son had to be ready to leave two hours before their planned time, because bus drivers had a two-hour window for pickups. This meant she could get on the bus as early as 7 a.m. for a 9 a.m. appointment, or be waiting until noon for a ride home after it was over at 10 a.m.
The added hours sometimes caused Bragg’s son, who is now 11 years old, to miss a day of school, and she risked losing her job because she needed to stay home with him.
At the time, the single mother was also part of the cash assistance program, which is run by the federal government and helps those who cannot support themselves or their families. Because of this, she had to visit the South Central Community Action Program’s (SCCAP) office on certain days, and if she wasn’t there, she could lose the money she needed to keep her family afloat.
“It hurts you,” she said. “It makes you feel like you’re a bad parent, because you can’t get your child to school and then you’re scared because you’re running the risk of not getting food stamps or cash assistance to help afford your child in your home.”
Living with limited public transit
Since a fixed-route public bus system shut down in 2004 after operating for 13 years, county residents have had few public transportation options to choose from.
Rabbit Transit is one way to get around town, although there is not a fixed…