The Virginia Breeze bus company recently announced it will offer transportation from Martinsville to Richmond and from Danville to Washington, D.C., making it easier for those who are south of Franklin County to commute.

The intercity bus service is part of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and is funded through the federal Rural Transit Assistance 5311 Program and ticket revenues.

The bus company currently has a line that extends service from Blacksburg to Washington, D.C. and, of course, there is the Amtrak. The two new lines proposed, however, still bypass Franklin County completely.

Historically, towns would boon with the arrival of the railroad. While passenger trains have diminished with the advent of air travel and personal automobiles, the need for affordable mass transit has grown. Some would argue mass transit is the environmentally friendly thing to do, while others would argue it is the economically friendly thing to do. Still Franklin County remains effectively cut-off from mass transit with no airport, no train station and no buses in sight, other than school buses.

Nationally, in 10 years, according to CNN, we are looking at hyperloop — ground transport at speeds of more than 750 mph — as a mass transit option. To put that into perspective, Franklin County residents would get to Washington, D.C. in roughly 20 minutes or to New York City in approximately 38 minutes. But that kind of transit option may be more than a decade away for the area given that Franklin County has yet to even get a regular bus to move about the county, let alone to connect to other lines.

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