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Bus system vital to region

While it may be the towering steel spans over the Ohio River that help put the “Tri” into “Tri-State,” it will be the buses traveling over those bridges that will bring all three communities closer together.

Last week, the Tri-State Transit Authority-Ohio Division rolled out one of the biggest infrastructure improvements this region has seen in many years — a public bus system that will span Lawrence County and connect with TTA systems in West Virginia and Kentucky.

This move will create a comprehensive link between all three states that will provide tremendous economic, social and environmental benefits for the entire region.

Infrastructure is vital to the growth and quality of life of any community and this marks a monumental step in the right direction by offering affordable transportation that breaks down the borders that seem to sometimes get in the way of progress in the Tri-State.

The TTA, the Lawrence County Port Authority, the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization, KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission, the Lawrence County Commissioners and other agencies involved all should be commended on their vision for this project and the hard work required to see it come to fruition.

Stop schedules and rates can be found at www.tta-wv.com or 894-RIDE.

The full system won’t be implemented until a repair project on the Ironton-Russell Bridge is completed but the groundwork has been laid and this program will soon be running on all cylinders.

We hope our state and national elected officials from all three states take note of this progress and open their eyes to the big picture.

Two of the most important projects for the entire region’s future — construction of a new Ironton-Russell Bridge and completion of the Chesapeake Bypass — become more vital than ever now that a public transit system is in place.

Lawrence County — and the Tri-State — is moving forward. We need everyone to get on board.