In a special meeting with community members and local officials April 30, officials with the South Central Regional Transportation District (SCRTD) announced a pilot public transportation program would begin service for Sierra County residents beginning this Monday, May 5. SCRTD representative Jack Valencia said the initiative would provide transportation services three days every week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), including a morning, mid-day and evening run each day. The SCRTD program will provide riders from T-or-C, Elephant Butte and the Village of Williamsburg, with direct connections to a number of designated communities and locations southward throughout the region. Included in the program’s regular route will be a connection to the Las Cruces Intermodal Transit facility, which now serves as a hub for numerous transit options and allows riders easy transfer and access to a wide variety of destinations. This pilot program was partially funded by local governmental entities, which in formal action over the past year, each approved the designation of a 50-cent per resident contribution. Valencia said the acquired funding would allow a six-month trial operation of the transportation program, noting a continuation of the initiative would then depend upon voter support of a one-quarter of one-percent Gross Receipt Tax request, which will appear on this coming November’s general election ballot. Hatch’s Ben Archer Health Clinic is partnering with the SCRTD for this pilot program, providing service through its existing transportation fleet. A formal bus service schedule has been developed and is included in this edition of the Sentinel. While this schedule will be implemented, Valencia said modifications to most effectively meet actual rider needs would likely be made during trial period. Further information about SCRDT’s pilot transportation program may be obtained by contacting officials with Rio Grande Transit at (575) 267-0223.