News Update from Upper Savannah Council of Governments

McCormick Area Transit Acquires Funds for Abbeville County; Saluda County to Receive Transit Funding

McCormick County Senior Center/McCormick Area Transit has received a $100,000 National Rural Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) grant in the Community Rides Grant Program to begin transportation services in Abbeville County.

McCormick Area Transit (MAT) submitted the competitive grant application on behalf of Abbeville County and will provide the services there.

Upper Savannah COG and other partnering agencies have discussed rural transportation for the past few years. Until recently, McCormick and Edgefield were the only two counties in the Upper Savannah Region to offer public transportation.

Progress has since been made in the Region.

MAT began negotiating with Greenwood County, which was awarded SCDOT funding to begin a transit partnership on July 1, 2021. Medical, pharmacy and essential shopping rides are now available to anyone living within 2.5 miles of the Greenwood County Courthouse.

Now transportation will be available in Abbeville County, and soon in Saluda County.

McCormick County Senior Center/MAT Executive Director Becky Moon Powell prepared the RTAP application on behalf of Abbeville County.

“It’s a great day at MAT Trans. We have just been awarded $100,000 grant for the National Rural Transportation Association of America to start a public transportation project in Abbeville, SC,” Powell said in a recent email to several partnering agencies.

“It has been a long process, a difficult grant to write; however, together, we have made possible for Abbeville to experience the privilege of offering public transportation to their county residents,” Powell said.

Upper Savannah Government Services Director Rick Green along with Abbeville County Council and staff helped provide the necessary information required for the grant application.

Laurens and Saluda counties still do not have public transit. However, USCOG successfully applied on Saluda County’s behalf for $50,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) COVID funding to be used for temporary public transit services in their county.

USCOG will contract with a qualified provider for medical, pharmacy and other essential trips for Saluda County residents once the COVID funds are released.