Eight people attended a meeting held by the Green Hills Regional Planning Commission Wednesday to discuss the region’s public transit system.
Assistant Director Jackie Soptic reports those attending included the manager of OATS and representatives of agencies whose clients need and use public transit systems. She says the meeting only addressed the needs and gaps of public transit and did not cover road conditions or the road product of the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Concerns raised during the meeting centered around the capability of the OATS program to go out to outlying communities and counties and transport them to Chillicothe, Kansas City, and other places like that. Residents in many outlying smaller communities do not have access to OATS in their towns, and they have to come to Trenton. Other issues raised included that there is no public transit available after 4 o’clock or 4:30 in the afternoons on weekdays, and there is no service on weekends.
Soptic says no solutions were suggested, but more money would help. The funding that supports the OATS program are federal funds, and the state matches in a percentage through the Missouri Department of Transportation. Those funds are limited for the region, though.
There is a program through the Northwest Missouri Area Agency on Aging based in Albany and Cameron where volunteers can provide transportation for non-emergency medical trips to the city and be reimbursed, however, there are no volunteers currently available in Grundy County. Those interested in volunteering should call the Northwest Missouri Area Agency on Aging at 888-844-5626.
The Green Hills Regional Planning Commission Public Transit Customer Survey is still available online by clicking HERE. Those who use public transportation and service agencies whose customers need public transit services are encouraged to complete the survey. Anyone wanting a hard copy of the survey should contact Soptic at 660-359-5636 extension 12 or at [email protected].
The information gathered will be used in creating a public transit plan and once the plan is completed, made public at ghrpc.org. The survey results will be included in the comments.
Federal law requires the transit plans to be completed every five years and MoDOT contracts with regional planning commissions throughout the state to create the plans.