RICHMOND (WRIC) - A Richmond bus service that helps low-income people go to the grocery store is being canceled.
For nearly two years, people living in neighborhoods far from grocery stores could hop on the RVA Shopper's Shuttle and stock up on fresh, healthy foods.
It used to be a free trip, but about four months ago, the city started charging $4 to help make ends meet since ridership wasn't high enough.
Bus rider Carleen Austin says that's where the problem came in.
"A whole lot of people can't afford it with the food stamps being cut," she says. "They're on fixed income."
At its peak nearly 230 people were riding the shopper shuttle every month. But now, hardly anyone is around the bus stop.
Debbie Hinton with the Richmond Department of Social Services says ridership dramatically dropped when the fee was instated.
Since the program started, it's cost the city $153,000 to keep it rolling.
Hinton says it's not fiscally smart to keep it going, but they're exploring new ideas.
"One of the things that we're really looking into are some urban agricultural products we can get in place in the city," she says.
Saturday will be the last day for the Shopper's Shuttle service.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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