In 1841, the first regular public transportation for passengers was a tri-weekly stagecoach which ran between Macon and Bainbridge and came through Albany. Prior to this, the main means of transportation was the Flint River. Steamboats would carry a sizable crew, businessmen, farmers, women and children, up and down the river. River transportation was a hazardous business. Boats would sink, boilers would burst, and smoke stacks would snag on over-hanging limbs. Pretty soon river travel declined, and finally ceased.
In 1896, Albany had a streetcar line. The streetcar was drawn by mules and did not run on any sort of tracks. There were no special stopping places for the streetcar; it stopped anywhere and waited for anyone. People were in less of a hurry during this time because their only means of transportation was the horse and buggy, mule and wagon, train or streetcar.
Automobiles began appearing in Albany about 1905. These cars made more noise, and traveled less miles. They frightened the horses and mules, causing them to run away with their owners. The streets and roads at that time were still dirt and made car transportation during wet weather unreliable. Almost anyone in those days would suggest to a motorist that he would be better off with a horse.
An electric streetcar began operation in Albany in 1912. It ran on tracks for 28 blocks and the fare to ride was a nickel. On summer days children could be seen riding barefoot on the streetcar just for fun. As the number of automobiles grew, the need for the streetcar declined and made its last trip in 1920.
Later, a small privately owned bus service, which operated under the name Albany Transit was the only public transportation available. The service was limited to a few areas within the city of Albany. The bus had one route, and serviced East Albany and Turner Field. It ran from 6 A.M. to midnight, seven days a week. Unfortunately under private ownership, the city’s small transit system was not profitable. Due to rising equipment and operating costs, the private transit system failed, and went out of business.
In 1974 the City of Albany took over operation of the system. Today Albany Transit System (ATS) operates as a department of city government providing public transit services to the community. It is dedicated to the provision of reliable, safe, and economical mass transportation for the citizens of Albany, Georgia.
ATS is a six day operation which operates eight buses on eleven routes between the hours of 5 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.. Monday through Friday. Eight buses are also in service on eleven routes, on Saturdays, from 6:15 a.m.. to 8:30 p.m. ATS’ fixed-route network is arranged in a radial pattern. ATS buses meet at the Transfer Station every 30 minutes, at 15 minutes after and 15 minutes before the hour, to allow passengers to make convenient, convenient transfers between buses. All of our buses are wheelchair accessible.
In addition to fixed route service, ATS’ Paratransit service operates with six Paratransit vehicles, which are also equipped with a wheelchair lift. This service is used to provide curb to curb service for persons with disabilities that have prevented them from utilizing the fixed route service.
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