Northport weighing public transportation options

 

Plenty of people who want to work around West Alabama are losing the battle before they can even get a job because they lack reliable transportation.

Staffing services like Labor Finders help employers like Burns Tire and Flat Repair in Tuscaloosa find daily workers. Burns Tire owner Willie Burns said that because many of those workers live in Northport, they can’t always make it to the shop because they can’t find a ride and Northport has no public transportation options.

“A lot of them have to walk,” Burns said. “I have am employee who has to catch a ride to work to get over here, so it’s hard for all of them in Northport to get over here.”

Burns said this isn’t a new problem.

“You can get them to come and they will be here through Labor Finders,” he said. “I had a couple workers on Monday and Tuesday and they are not here today. They can’t get over here.”

Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon said he wants the city to come up with a solution so workers and anyone else in need of a ride has reliable transportation.

“Northport is growing so rapidly,” Herndon said. “There’s a good time to look at our own public transportation system, whether we just take people right across the bridge and turn around and come right back or we pick up from different parts of the city.”

Herndon said grant funding is available for putting together public transportation, so the city won’t have to pay for everything by itself.

“I believe it would really help out everybody for Northport to have its own public transportation,” Herndon said. “For getting people to and from, especially to Tuscaloosa, where it seems like the majority of the agencies for hiring are located.”

Herndon said he’ll present this concern at the next Northport City Council meeting on Monday.

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