Public Transportation deviated
routes plan for Lincoln to be voted
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[April 14, 2016]
- On Tuesday, April 12, 2016, the Logan County Board's Executive
Committee held its monthly meeting. The focus of the main discussion
was on public transportation, which will soon be starting a pilot
program with deviated fixed routes through Lincoln.
Guests were Alison Rumler-Gomez and Diane Turner of Community
Action; and Brenda Clark, Program Compliance Oversight Monitor.
Committee member Kevin Bateman said he wants to run the new program
efficiently and prudently, and feels they have a team in place to
make it work.
Bateman said though there has not always been good accountability in
the past previous communication problems were on both sides.
He wants to move forward and plans to watch the transportation
Committee member Pat O'Neill said he had some questions and concerns
about route times and stops. He wondered if the routes could be run
until 5:30 and said some who hoped to use the transportation may not
be able to. Some have also asked about having a stop at Kroger.
Bateman said the program is "starting with a lump of clay and
molding it to fit everyone." The transportation committee is
considering other stops in town.
Bateman said anything the Board does, needs to fit in the budget and
"benefit everybody in a fair manner." Bateman said Community Action
will work on changes needed based on public response, but reminded
everyone the program is evolving and growing.
Committee chairman Emily Davenport asked how to track feedback on
Diane Turner said surveys are part of the transportation program's
grant requirement, and will show where people want stops and what
times they could use the transportation. She said most use the
transportation for medical appointments or shopping. Turner said
many clients shop at Walmart because it has a pharmacy, general
goods, and groceries in one stop.
Bateman said social media was a good way to advertise the program.
O'Neill said posting the routes on social media prompted a lot a
feedback and questions about the planned stops.
Board Chairman David Hepler said that right now the public
transportation seems "skewed toward a narrow population."
Turner said representatives from the colleges, university, and
housing authority who are on the Transportation Advisory Committee
actually determined the stops, not Community Action. She also said
people polled about transportation needs live in various parts of
Rumler-Gomez said Community Action polls various demographics of the
community throughout the year. She reminded the committee the Logan
County Board has the right to make changes they feel are needed.
Turner said based on some previously identified needs, Logan Mason
Public Transportation will start offering $2.00 Tuesday routes.
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In the mornings between 8:15 and 9:15, MPT will pick up people at Railsplitter
Apartments, Centennial Courts laundry facility, Logan Courts Circle Drive, and
Brainard's Landing mailboxes. There will be 15 minute intervals between each
stop and the drop off location will be Walmart.
A mid-day route will start with pick-up at Walmart at 11:15 a.m. and the route
will drop off people at the morning pick-up locations beginning with Brainard's
Landing and ending at Railsplitter Apartments.
The afternoon route will run between 2:30 and 3:30 starting with pick-up at
Walmart and ending with the final drop off location at Railsplitter Apartments.
Turner said due to some questions about schedules and routes, the pilot program
with deviated fixed routes is projected to begin May 16. Tuner also has to hire
and train two new employees for that program.
Clark said everyone needs to keep in mind the new program is a pilot program.
She said with the deviated routes, a deviation to a stop at Kroger's would be
possible since it is within the two block deviation limit. If enough people
request a stop at Kroger, it could be added to the route. Stops are based on
Turner said the County Board had to decide how far off to deviate from the main
route. State and Federal guidelines do not dictate how far to deviate. Deviating
too far from the route would adversely affect schedules.
Rumler-Gomez said surveys show a lack of transportation is part of the problem
with some people getting or keeping jobs. She said the return on investment from
public transportation is "exponential." Helping just ten households out of
poverty has a positive effect on taxpayers.
Committee members present were chairman Emily Davenport, Kevin Bateman, Dave
Blankenship, Scott Schaffenacker and Pat O'Neill. Board Chairman David Hepler
was also present.
The Logan County Board will vote on whether to approve the new transportation
grant and the recommendations of the Transportation Advisory Committee and
Public Transportation Committee at Tuesday's Regular Board meeting.