Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority Adds (Impromptu) Election Day Stop at Appling Middle School Necessity IS the mother of invention — Feel Good Election Day Story.

Early this morning on MTA’s North Highland route, our bus operator, Michelle Wiggins, realized that MTA’s regular corner stop at the campus of Appling Middle School was too far to walk for the riders headed to the school to vote. There were 11 passengers, 4 senior citizens, several with walkers.

When Michelle realized the riders’ challenge she called MTA Operations Manager, JoAnn Lamb, requesting permission to drive the passengers up to the gymnasium door where voting was taking place inside.In response, MTA immediately added an “Election Day Stop” at Appling Middle School for both North Highland buses (Block 1 and Block 2). The bus will transport riders to the door the entire day.

According to JoAnn Lamb: “The last North Highland buses of the day leave the Transfer Station at 8:00 p.m. and should arrive at Appling a final time by 8:30 p.m. before returning to the Transfer Station. We commend Michelle for seeing a need and acting on it immediately.

”CEO Craig Ross added, “If voters are taking the initiative to vote, we’re happy to help them. We’re proud that our bus operator, Michelle Wiggins, took the initiative to get approval for this accommodation. We want to be good community citizens and this is one of many ways MTA can do that. This adds another layer to our FREE FARE Day for everyone on Election Day, whether for voting, like those riders, or any citizen who just wants to try MTA.”

FOLLOW-UP: I was so touched by this story and by Michelle Wiggins’ initiative that I visited her at the Transfer Station between routes to chat and take photographs. Very humble, Michelle told me of her concern for her passengers.

Afterwards, I drove to Appling and visited with two poll workers, a reporter and videographer working on a voting story, as well as Corporal Darius Azar of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office. It was inspiring to see democracy in action on this beautiful autumn day.

Thank you Corporal Darius Inzar of the Bibb Sheriff’s Office for protecting our polling site.