Port Wentworth City Council approves expansion of Chatham Area Transit services

Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 2:58 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2023 at 3:11 PM EDT
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PORT WENTWORT, Ga. (WTOC) - People that live in Port Wentworth could soon have access to a new transportation option following the approval of a Chatham Area Transit expansion by the Port Wentworth city council.

It’s something that city leaders say couldn’t come at a better time, pointing to some of the economic developments going on as a big factor for the need for extra transportation in the community.

City leaders specifically mentioned the new Ghost Pirates facility as an example, and said that an option to ride a CAT bus instead of getting in your own car will help traffic congestion issues.

According to the City of Port Wentworth, 25,000 vehicles travel through the city on State Routes 21 and 30 daily.

City leaders also pointed to overall growth in the region, and say that with continuing development in Port Wentworth, providing extra transportation options for the expanding number of people here is a must.

“It just shows we are a growing region. And a report recently just came out that says we are one of the resilient regions in the housing market when other markets are starting to see a slowdown. So, with that, and with the density especially happening in the city, we need to be prepared for the next iteration of growth in this region,” City of Port Wentworth Director of Economic Development James Touchton said.

“Improving the quality of life for our citizens is what the new administration is all about, and I believe that when the new businesses have seen what we’re doing, they’re getting on board,” Port Wentworth Mayor Pro Tem Thomas Barbee said.

Now that expansion has been approved by the council, there’s only one step left for total approval and that’s approval by the CAT board. CAT’s Board of Directors will take this up at their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

Upon approval, access to CAT services would drastically expand in Chatham County.

According to CAT, the service expansion would cost around $600,000 and would add two fixed-route buses. They would run every hour seven days a week, and would connect to old Port Wentworth on South Coastal Highway, International Trade Parkway, I-95/Augusta Road, Wood Meadow Apartments, and Rice Hope.

“The proposed expansion in Port Wentworth is the result of great partnerships as CAT continues to commit to serving the growing transportation needs of Chatham County. We look forward to welcoming Port Wentworth residents and commuters as we connect them to essential job opportunities, medical appointments, and activities,” CAT Executive Director Faye DiMassimo said in a prepared statement.

The expansion would also include 13 new bus stops/shelters equipped with ADA accessible benches and solar lighting.