Roll a different way

Published 12:01 am Sunday, June 20, 2010

Maybe it’s time for Vicksburg officials to climb a bit out of the box on the whole transportation question.

It’s a two-part issue: Whether to lower requirements for legally operating a taxi service in the city; and secondly, whether the mission statement for the publicly funded NRoute bus system should be altered to meet residents’ needs.

The needs reportedly are for buses — which drive multiple people to or near the main shopping, housing and health spots — and taxis, which historically provided individual vehicles summoned by phone at times that are not limited by predetermined schedules.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The first issue, required liability insurance for every operating cab in the city, is a no-brainer. The requirements must stand. As Vicksburg Transportation Board president Jim Stirgus Jr. said, “We have to look out for the people riding in the cabs.”

Enough said.

On the second issue, that of public buses — in part subsidized by city and county taxpayers — maybe the appointed Vicksburg Transportation Board and the NRoute Transportation Commission should join forces to get the city and county to back the expansion of NRoute to provide the individual services that buses cannot offer.

NRoute riders now pay a minimum of $2 while daily and weekly passes are higher.

Could the cost be expanded, maybe even metered as most taxis are, for individual riders going to their own destinations at non-prescribed times? Could NRoute simply expand to offer this service?

Of course, cost would be a factor, but so would convenience, and that’s something the members of the public boards should consider as they roll out of the box of “how it’s always been done.”