Antioch Educational Center (AEC) is a well-known 15-year-old nonprofit organization that contributes to Jasper, Beaufort, and Hampton County residents. In its latest community project, AEC is now providing more affordable transportation for working Jasper County citizens.
AEC recently hosted the "Maiden Voyage" one of its latest project, the Antioch Express a two-year pilot program, known as the Antioch Express. The Antioch Express is a transportation shuttle that serves as an alternative and affordable means of transportation for citizens working in Jasper and southern Beaufort County (Bluffton and Hilton Head Island).
The Maiden Voyage was organized to give the stakeholders an idea of the daily commute for the riders. Before starting the shuttle tour, the AEC team hosted a brief Meet and Greet session in the local AEC office. Several Jasper County elected officials, including Mayor Joey Malphrus, Councilman Tommy Rhodes (Town of Ridgeland), Mayor Harry Williams, Councilwoman Carolyn Kassel, Councilman David Spisso (Hardeeville), Councilman John Kemp, and Retired SC Representative Curtis Brantley, and Coroner Willie P. Aiken (Jasper County) were on hand to kick-off this great project. Also present were several members of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry and Women in Philanthropy (HHI).
The shuttle route allowed the participants to view the designated drop-off and pick-up locations of each of the two 23 passenger buses. Some of the drop-off locations include the New River Mall (Hardeeville, Tanger Outlet Malls (One and Two), Coastal Carolina and HHI Hospitals, Walmart in Bluffton and HHI, as well as the other nine stops that each of the two buses will be making four times each weekday (Monday through Friday).
Funding for this project was made possible by the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry and the Women in Philanthropy. Funding and donations will allow the shuttle fee, which is $5.00 per day, to be free for the first three months for all riders. “We are so excited about this dynamic new project. Providing this affordable means of transportation will help to remove one of the major challenges that face our low-income neighbors”, stated Jackie O’Bannon, AEC’s Executive Director.
As an added precaution for protection during this pandemic, the transportation shuttles are equipped with high-quality air purifiers, as suggested by NASA. Face masks will be required, and shuttle riders must complete an agreement to follow the state and local requirements before ticket purchase. Tickets will be available soon on the AEC website.
The AEC team will continue collecting additional information to create a schedule that is efficient and beneficial to shuttle riders. Routes are subject to change due to high demand.
The date for the official first shuttle service is scheduled for June 15, 2021. For information, please contact AEC at (843) 645-9400 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.