Connect Transit expects up to a 7 percent increase in use of its Connect Mobility service next month. That's because the YWCA is shutting down its Medivan program.
The YWCA made that choice because state funding was unreliable and the program was on pace to operate at a $120,000 per year deficit.
Jeff Holtke is the Marketing Manager for Connect Transit. Holtke said they expect about 100 Medivan users to switch for trips to medical appointments.
"It's going to be a pretty decent increase. We had an overlap of about 40 to 50 customers, so it is a large batch of incoming clients for us to take on. But, we are ready and eager to go," said Holtke.
Connect Mobility receives some federal funding for the service. It costs the bus system about $27 dollars per ride. Connect Transit estimated increased use of 500 rides per month, or 6,000 per year. That suggests the additional demand would add about $167,000 dollars per year to Connect Transit's costs.
Holtke said the bus system will have to look for additional support as well.
"With our infrastructure already in there for Connect Mobility, we will continue to try to find creative ways to fund it any way we can." said Holtke.
Connect Mobility already provides 7,000 rides per month. That is a federally mandated program.
Holtke said Connect Mobility will start providing rides to Medivan users in July, but those people will have to fill out an application and qualify for the new service or lose access after three months.
As a matter of disclosure, GLT Program Director Mike McCurdy is the head of the Connect Transit Board.
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