This story originally appeared on the front page of the September 22, 1989 Press Advertiser. – Editor
Farmington became a regional transportation hub on Wednesday with the opening of Greyhound Shuttle service between the city and 13 other Missouri communities. State urban transportation officials, local dignitaries and officials of Greyhound Lines, Inc. were on hand for the shuttle service ribbon cutting.
The event drew a crowd to the corner of Highwy 32 and Karsch (OO) where the Greyhound terminal has long been located. Headquartered at that site, the new Greyhound Shuttle service will provide daily round trips, via 15 passenger vans, between Farmington and St. Louis and Farmington and Cape Girardeau. The air conditioned vans will make scheduled stops in Pilot Knob, Ironton, Potosi, DeSoto, Hillsboro, Festus, South County and downtown St. Louis. Another southbound shuttle will depart from Farmington for Cape Girardeau with stops scheduled in Fredericktown, Patton Junction and Millersville. The service to both Cape Girardeau and St. Louis will be available for riders in the morning and again in the afternoon.
Owned and operated by Herman 'Cotton' Shumake, the shuttle service provides a feeder system to Greyhound terminals in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau. But, Shumake expects many riders will be commuting between attractions and services on the route.
Shumake said federal grants totaling $34,000 have been awarded and will help him offset some service planning and vehicle depreciation costs. The three shuttle service vans cost Shumake over $23,000 each. He described them as, "fully equipped and insured," and pointed out that they will feature two-way communication systems.
According to Shumake, the service has been in the planning stages for over a year. He estimates that area students attending Southeast Missouri University and senior citizens in many of the communities served will be particularly pleased to have the transportation system available to them. A ticket from Farmington to St. Louis will sell for $13.85 including tax.
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On a grander scale, passengers will be able to purchase a ticket to distant destinations from the shuttle service driver. "We'll be just like an agent on wheels. If you want to go to California, the shuttle driver can sell you the ticket and get you to the terminal to make connections," said Shumake.
U.S. Representative Bill Emerson saluted the occasion in a letter read at the ribbon cutting by his aid David Murphy. Emerson said, "The need for transportation service to rural areas is great. This will help fill that need."
Missouri State Representative Frank Ellis said, "the service will be worth a lot to this area. Especially the elderly." Shumake concurred. Relaxing in his office before the ceremony, Shumake said the shuttle service will help close the gap between rural areas and the metropolitan centers. He said the elderly and handicapped who don't drive are likely to be regular shuttle service riders.
For others, his Farmington terminal provides travelers with a restaurant, a motel, cab service for local travel and connections to cities across America.
Jim Dismuke, assistant city administrator in Farmington, said the shuttle service came about because both Shumake and Farmington's leadership are goal oriented. He noted that the service opens a door to America and demonstrates that dedication to a goal can pay off.
Shumake credited Farmington's leadership and officials with the U.S. Urban Mass Transportation Administration as instrumental in the opening of the new shuttle service.