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SAFE shows Sylacauga love by unveiling new public transport van on Valentine’s Day


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Members of the Sylacauga City Council along with Mayor Jim Heigl were on-hand Tuesday morning, Feb. 14, to celebrate the Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement’s (SAFE) unveiling of a new public transportation van.

The new van, a Ford Starcraft, is easy to spot with a maroon red paint job and was issued to the city free of charge. It seats 10 passengers and has the capacity to accommodate two wheelchair riders.

“This is absolutely wonderful in that we have better equipment to serve the people that are in need the most,” said Transportation Supervisor Gregory Patterson. “They rely so much upon public transportation to accomplish the things that they need to get done.”

Sylacauga’s Transportation Program (ACTS) offers those without transportation options the opportunity to get to doctor’s appointments, go shopping, and simply visit with friends, according to Patterson.

The program also caters to the handicapped within the community. Quarterly, ACTS reported over 450 transports of disabled persons.

“Having this [new] van, it’s just priceless,” expressed Margaret Morton, Executive Director of SAFE. “[Public transportation] is an invaluable service that the city of Sylacauga provides.”

SAFE’s Sylvia Benson is expected to be the primary driver of the new ACTS van going forward.

The Sylacauga City Council members were given a quick test ride of the new vehicle during which, Patterson said, one rider in particular may have had too much fun.

“The most unruly one would have to be Councilman [Nate] Brewer,” Patterson remarked with a chuckle, “and he probably had the most fun as well.”

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