Posted: Jun 18, 2013 1:34 PM by Elaina O'Connell
Updated: Jun 18, 2013 6:25 PM
COLUMBIA - Starting July 1, OATS, Inc. will implement fares for the Mid-Missouri and Northwest regions. OATS has been providing free transportation to certain Missouri residents since 1971. In the past, OATS stood for "Older Adults Transportation Service," but now it is just OATS, Inc. The executive director said the company changed the name because it provides for the rural general public and people who have disabilities.
The new fares come after recent budget cuts. Previously, OATS operated on a suggested contributions basis where customers could give donations they saw fit for the service. Fares will range from $5-$9 each way for rural towns and areas in Mid-Missouri.
"Most of the rationale was based on the loss of funding both at the federal and state levels," Mid-Missouri Regional Director Jack Heusted said. "Unfortunately as those resources started to diminish, we didn't really have much of an option but to go to a fare-based so that we could minimize the impact of the loss of the funding."
Heusted said the Northwest region lost the area agency on aging contract, and the Mid-Missouri region lost that agency several years ago. Heusted also said over the last two or three years state funding has decreased significantly.
Heusted said that currently rider contributions make up only 4% of the company's revenue. He also said there were only a couple options.
"[We could] either reduce the schedule of hours or to try to supplement some of that loss, and one of the ways was to go to the fare base," Heusted said.
Last year, OATS provided a total number of 110,676 trips to 3,838 people in the Mid-Missouri region. The majority of the trips are for medical, nutrition, essential shopping, and business related errands.
While Heusted said this will be a financial impact for riders he does not think there will be a huge decline in ridership.
"People have not been responding negatively," Heusted said. "For the most part people are being understanding."
For more information about the fares and OATS, Inc. visit here.
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SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Springfield police said an officer has shot and killed a man during a struggle over the officer's gun.
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Posted 5:34 PM 11/26/2015 by The Associated Press
FORT LEONARD WOOD (AP) — Fort Leonard Wood dished out more than five tons of turkey for the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
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Posted 2:08 PM 11/26/2015 by Annie Hammock, KOMU 8 Reporter and Nicole Cooke, Sedalia Democrat Reporter
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Posted 1:55 PM 11/26/2015 by Kolbie Satterfield, KOMU 8 Reporter
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Posted 12:09 PM 11/26/2015 by The Associated Press
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Posted 10:31 AM 11/26/2015 by The Associated Press
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Posted 9:40 AM 11/26/2015 by Eric Yount, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
BOONE COUNTY - An early morning fire broke out in a house at 6399 Old Village Road Thursday.
Battalion Chief Gale Blomenkamp of the Boone County Fire Protection District said a couch caught fire in the living room, causing smoke and heat damage throughout the room. The woman living there and her two dogs were able to escape without injury.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.