Public Transit Provides Cheapest Option

by Kayce Wilson
Delta Digital News Service

JONESBORO – With transportation apps like Uber and Lyft bringing services to the Delta, pre-existing businesses may feel the need to change their operations.

Jonesboro Economical Transit System transportation supervisor Keith Michael said the company does not feel threatened by the new services.

“The difference that JET has from other transportation options is that we are able to set our fares at lower rates than other services because we are federally funded,” Michael said. “It will cost you $10 and higher to ride a local cab, UBER or Lyft one way, in comparison to $1.25 one way for JET.”

JET of Jonesboro began operating in 2006. JET’s routes reach across the Central, East, North and West regions of Jonesboro, with a hub at 713 S. Caraway Road.

Since the city runs the public transit, its maintenance department and JET employees provide maintenance. The amount of riders per day varies. Many people use this service to get to work, the grocery store and various appointments.

“I don’t believe the newer forms of transportation will affect our JET ridership. Because we can offer lower fares, this alone will keep our ridership numbers steadily growing,” Michael said.

Craighead County Cab Company was unable to comment at this time.

Edward Harthorn, a graduate assistant in history at Arkansas State, said it is important for people to know about all of the forms of Jonesboro transportation.

“While there’s a lot that I don’t know about Uber or Lyft, I am optimistic that they will quickly play an important role in local transportation,” Harthorn said. “Single-car families, international students and many other constituencies may find that ride-sharing provides a convenient alternative when running errands, traveling across town or waiting for a vehicle to be serviced. It will be interesting to see how these companies and Jonesboro’s public transit co-exist.”

(Photo courtesy of A-State Media Relations)