CALTRAN Keeps Callaway Moving

7 years 7 months 2 days ago Monday, March 14 2011 Mar 14, 2011 Monday, March 14, 2011 10:57:00 AM CDT March 14, 2011 in Coverage From Callaway
By: Megan Murphy

CALLAWAY COUNTY - You've got places to go and people to see. If you need a ride, Callaway County Transportation System (CALTRAN) can help.

They're in the business of moving people and 89-year-old Martha Kirk has places to go.

"I got things to do," Kirk said. "Thursday, I go to the nursing home. Friday, I go shopping at the Walmart."

CALTRAN, which is a division of Serve in Callaway County, is a mass transportation provider.

"We're open to anyone and everyone, but we certainly put a priority on the elderly and anyone with physical or possible mental disabilities," CALTRAN Executive Director Patti Jo Peevey said. "When they first call if they've never ridden, we try to plug them into the existing funding."

With an operating budget of about $400,000, CALTRAN receives funds from many different sources including Medicaid, Callaway County Special Services, Central Missouri Area Agency on Aging and United Way.

"[We got a] really large grant through MoDOT which picks up 50% of our operating losses," Peevey said. "Last spring exhausted the money because of gas prices."

Serve doesn't want anyone to be left out so it tries to find funding for each rider.

"It's a boost not only health-wise, physical health, but it's a boost emotionally," Peevey said. "[It] helps them maintain their independence and get them back out into the community."

Linda McVeigh has been driving the Serve bus for 7 years.

"It's challenging, but I got it down pat," McVeigh said.

What drives her is the need.

"You wouldn't do it if you didn't feel like you were doing some good," McVeigh said.

Linda will transport about 100 people a day round trip. With 11 buses, CALTRAN does more than 3,000 trips each month; patrons will go everywhere from stops for simple errands to dialysis treatments.

"We take them to the senior center, their doctors appointments, the beauty shop, library, just about anywhere they need to go," McVeigh said.

CALTRAN helps Callaway keep going.

"I play pool, then I eat lunch usually," CALTRAN rider Ken Morgan said. "Then, I go home and I walk down to see my wife at the nursing home. The bus is a great help for me."

With pool stick in hand, Morgan shoots off to the senior center four days a week.

47-year-old Joe Crawford has had three strokes and can't drive.

"I couldn't do without it," Crawford said.

"We've been able to do a lot of good things for a lot of good people," Peevey said.

They say they're in the business of moving people. Well, they're moving them in more ways than one.

"I have to be busy," Kirk said. "Well, there's a lot to do. Everything I do has to be done, and I love to do it."

CALTRAN transports most of its patrons around Callaway, but has regular routes to dialysis treatments in Audrain, Boone and Cole counties. It also does employment transportation as well as other destinations.

 

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