March 8, 2014

Transit service strapped by financial burdens

ODOT to investigate situation



Key said on demand service is all the WVTS has ever had and the system isn't big enough to run routes. 

"Only metro systems are route systems," she said. 

Hackett echoed this sentiment. He said he understands where Key is coming from. 

"I can see why in some rural areas they would do it this way, but if there is a demand for change they need to look at it," he said. 

Regardless of whether system changes, Hackett said ODOT's contributions were never meant to fund the entirety of the WVTS. 

"(It) is in place to augment the services for these providers," he said. "Our purpose is, by no means, to be a sole funding source. Some of the providers are so small this can be the case, but it's not our function or goal. All have other funding streams."

Although there is some call for change, many are happy with the way the transit system works. 

Executive Director of the Chickasha Opportunity Center Thomas Hannon praised the WVTS.

"If they can continue doing as good a job as they are doing, I am going to be a fan for a long time," he said. 

Hannon said he started working with adults with developmental disabilities in Oklahoma City. He said the mass transit system rarely benefited his clients. 

"Some folks would have to walk a mile to get where they were going," he said. "Here they go door-to-door, they know our clients and they will call to check on them. It's a tremendous asset to the community as a whole and wish bigger cities could do a better job." 

Hannon said he trusts the WVTS to accurately reflect the needs of the community, but realizes there is always room for improvement. 

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