A commercial bus service taking people from Eastern Kentucky to Lexington or Louisville and back, is one step closer to becoming a reality.
Officials with Miller Trailways Bus Service met with leaders in Pike County Wednesday afternoon to get the project off the ground.
Leaders say this is needed in Eastern Kentucky because a study shows almost 90% of people in that area travel to Lexington for health care, business, or education. Many on low-income can not afford the gas or do not have a car to get there.
The bus service is expected to help.
Miller Trailways officials say a bus like this one could soon travel from Pikeville to Lexington and Louisville, daily. Charity director Monk Sanders says it is needed.
"We get people every week needing transportation to lexington," said Sanders.
He cannot take them all, so Miller Trailways is offering a commercial bus service in Eastern Kentucky to help. The idea is to help those who do not have reliable cars or gas money for the 300 mile round trips.
It would be based in both Pikeville and Hazard. Buses would run from there to Lexington and Louisville, and back about four times a day.
Pike County leaders are jumping on board.
"We're entitled to that. We don't need to be an isolated people in 2009. We need to connect to the rest of the country," said Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford.
Leaders believe it will not only help people here, but can also work the other way with people who live in larger cities.
Officials believe it could increase attendance at tourist spots and lead to more money spent in restaurants in Eastern Kentucky.
Officials are applying for grants to start the service, but say the benefits outweigh the costs.
Miller Trailway officials say they have a deal with Greyhound, so if people want to go to another city out of Kentucky, they can transfer to a Greyhound bus in Lexington or Louisville.