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WSTA suspends two-bag limit

 John Railey -CSEM Reporter  

The Winston-Salem Transit Authority has suspended its rule limiting passengers to just two bags of groceries, and a local high school student played a big role in its decision. 

   “WSTA is suspending the 2-bag rule until further notice to make sure passengers are able to provide food for their families with less travel requirements,” WSTA General Manager Donna Woodson said Wednesday in an email to a CSEM reporter. “We strongly encourage them to be able to safely handle their groceries while riding the buses.” 

   Woodson added that Forsyth Country Day sophomore Sarina Jarrahi Horner “has been very instrumental in assisting WSTA to this decision. Her passion for helping the citizens in our county is commendable!” 

   Passengers have long complained about the two-bag rule. It’s especially concerning in our area, which has more than its share of food deserts. Many residents of those areas rely on city buses to get to chain grocery stores, but the rule limited their purchases. Sarina, 15, developed an interest in the economic mobility issues after she and her older sister, Yasmin, heard CSEM Founding Director Craig Richardson speak about them during an interview on WFDD. The sisters founded a student group to tackle local issues of economic mobility, the Forsyth County Young Leaders Program. 

   Sarina studied the two-bag rule. She pushed for cargo racks on top of local buses, as other cities do, and, until then, asked for a suspension of the two-bag rule for a trial period, most recently in a story posted on this website last week. She consulted with CSEM Founding Director Craig Richardson and other community leaders. 

   As she said in last week’s story about the challenges she faced in asking for WSTA improvements, “The worst they can do is say no. You find somebody else that says yes. You go from there.” 

   Good for Woodson and the rest of WSTA for hearing Sarina. Cargo racks can’t be far off. 

John Railey is the senior writer and community relations consultant for CSEM. He can be reached at