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Officials approve bus cuts
Commissioners nix Saturday service

LAWRENCEVILLE - Commissioners cut Saturday local bus service and a route to Buford, saving thousands on transit service. The cuts were approved Tuesday, and will take effect next year. "I think its a good balance," of community needs and savings during the current budget crunch, Commissioner Mike Beaudreau said. "I'm really pleased. Transportation Director Brian Allen said the service cuts do not affect paratransit service, calming concerns from the disabled community. The changes include tweaks to nearly all the local service routes and would completely eliminate Route 50, which currently connects passengers to all three of Gwinnett's malls - Gwinnett Place Mall, Discover Mills and the Mall of Georgia. Transit officials have said that route only yielded about 150 passengers a day, compared to an average of 700 boardings on the other four routes. Transportation officials said the changes would save $310,000 a year, or about 18.7 percent of the local service costs. Adjustments were also approved for the county's popular express services, which carries passengers to Atlanta during morning and evening rush hours. Despite the deletion of some trips, officials said commuters should not have to stand because the county recently purchased 57-seat buses to replace the 37-seat buses used in the past. Those cuts account for another $50,000 in savings, officials said, and will be effective Nov. 30.