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While much of the community and nation has been focused on the economy, Fayetteville leaders have managed to look beyond the economy to the city’s future and have undertaken a number of initiatives over the past year to improve not only city services, but the qaulity of life for its citiznes.

For a number of years, the Fayetteville Area Transit System has been a top priority for the Fayetteville City Council. A large segment of the city’s population depends on the city buses to get to work, to doctors appointments and shopping destinations. While many city’s are cutting services, Fayetteville has maintained its commitment to the community by increasing not only the number of citizens served by the buses but also the quality of the service.

In September 2011, the city added extended services to a number of bus routes, including the FASTtrac van service for disabled residents.

“By adding evening hours to these routes, travel will be enhanced from downtown to north Fayetteville,” said Transit Director Randy Hume. “Connections are also being added to Cape Fear Valley satellite locations and western portions of the service area. Funding for these improvements was provided by the Fayetteville City Council in the city’s budget. These changes are only a few of the improvements clients will experience as FAST continues to enhance citizens’ travel options one step at a time.”

The same attention that was given to the FAST system was also extended to the disabled in our community.

The Fayetteville-Cumberland Human Relations Commision is active in working to create opportunities for the disabled. Following the completion of a Self Evaluation and Transition Plan in 2007, the city has undertaken a wide variety of projects to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, including closed captioning and listening devices for city council meetings; a city council chamber renovation; numerous ADA projects at City-owned facilities, recreation centers and parks; handicap lifts at the Amtrak station; curb cuts and sidewalk upgrades, along with special doors, to accommodate persons who are disabled; and appropriate signage in city hall.

“The City of Fayetteville has taken great strides to address ADA requirements,” said Ron McElrath, city ADA coordinator and human relations director.

From its people, to its environment, the city continues to look for ways to improve.

One unique aspect of innovation is the purchase of four Big Belly solar compactors for disposing of recyclables and trash. These compactors are used at large events downtown including the International Folk Festival and the Dogwood Festival. Each Big Belly solar compactor uses solar energy to compact trash and actually cuts public garbage collection emissions by up to 80 percent, because it has five times the capacity of a regular trashcan.

Reducing waste and increasing effi ciency are key elements in this great form of technology. Also, equipped with wireless monitoring, staff is notified when the trashcans need to be emptied and can be tracked from a remote computer.

The second part of the unit is a recycling component that collects glass, plastic, and paper recycling, which was one of the number one requests for things to be added to downtown. the like during the International The compactors are an example of green efforts in the All-America City of Fayetteville.

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