OATS to Implement Fare Program
COLUMBIA - OATS announced Monday that beginning July 1 there will be a fare system. For more than 40 years OATS, a transportation system for the elderly, disabled and others, has only asked for contributions from riders, but the fare is now necessary to balance the non-profit's budget.
Fare prices will range from $5 to $9 each way for rural towns and areas in Mid-Missouri. Federal funding does cover part of the rural service, but it is not enough to cover the costs of the trips. It does not receive any federal funding for Columbia trips because it the state classifies it as an urban area.
The Mid-Missouri OATS region covers a 15 county area, providing more than 110,000 trips to about 3,800 people last year. Many of trips are for medical, nutrition, essential shopping, and business errands.
Current rider contributions only make up four percent of the company's revenue.