Surprisingly, a town forum on Sept. 25 didn't focus on the gas shortage.
Instead, one of the hot topics of the forum, hosted by Iredell County Commission candidate Mark Vanek, was the 83X bus line from Mooresville to Charlotte.
Keith Parker, chief executive for the Charlotte Area Transit System, said ridership on the 83X line is up 73 percent in the past five years. At the meeting, residents spoke out in favor of the bus, and Vanek suggested that Iredell County pick up half of the $86,000 cost to pay for the line. Mooresville picked up that cost this year, but it is uncertain whether the town will be willing to do it again.
Residents at the meeting said the bus route gave them an important alternative to driving. But with the economic crunch that is starting to affect local governments, maintaining such a line might not be easy. Mooresville is paying $975 per rider for this year, according to Mooresville commissioner Frank Rader, and that price might be too steep next year.
Much of the rest of the county also opposes paying for the bus, because residents in the north end do not use it. So, even though ridership is up and the route has vocal supporters, it might face an uphill battle next year.