Governor Signs Bill Creating Committee to Study Mass Transit and Human Services Transportation

May 20, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC – May 20, 2008 – Governor Mark Sanford has signed a bill into law that creates a study committee charged with reviewing all mass transit systems and human services transportation systems in South Carolina. The state’s public school bus system is excluded from this study which was signed by the Governor on May 14, 2008.

The Mass Transit and Human Services Transportation Programs Study Committee will be expected to report on the status of these programs including their current level of use, funding, potential availability of additional funds and efficiencies of the systems. The Committee will review 24 general public transit providers and approximately 120 human service transportation systems that serve disabled and elderly South Carolinians.

Transportation Secretary H.B. Limehouse Jr. credits Governor Sanford for taking swift action on the bill that created the Committee.

“We have many specialized transportation systems in addition to public transit in this state. The Governor recognized that we need to take a serious look at all the systems to look for ways to better use funding, eliminate overlap and possibly merge systems that are running parallel with each other,” said Limehouse. “We need to make sure these systems are accessible and efficient for the people they serve, and make them available to more of our citizens if possible,” he added.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) will use existing staff to support the 15-member Committee which will receive no per diem or any other form of compensation. All appointments are due to be made by July 31, 2008.

The Committee’s membership will include:

One member each appointed by the Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House. Each of the three members must represent the transportation community.

The Chairs of the Senate Transportation Committee and the House Public Works Committee or their designees.

The Secretary of Transportation, president of the Transportation Association of South Carolina, executive director of the State Budget & Control Board, or their designees.

One member to represent the Council of Governments.

The state directors of the Department of Social Services, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, and the Vocational Rehabilitation Department or their designees.

The Secretary of Commerce and the director of the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging or their designees.

The Committee’s final report must be filed before March 13, 2010. However, Secretary Limehouse believes the work will be completed in 2009.