Highway Department wants to hear about special transit options

Posted: July 23, 2017 at 1:02 a.m.

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department staff members will host a meeting Tuesday in Springdale to hear what residents think should be the state's public transit priorities for health and human services providers.

The state has eight urban transit agencies, nine rural transit agencies and 300 health and human service agencies that provide transportation, said Greg Nation, public transportation administrator with the Highway Department.

The Federal Transportation Administration requires the state to update its Coordinated Public Transit Human Services Transportation Plan every five years, he said.

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The agencies transport diverse populations, Nation said. One agency might carry people who are elderly and another might carry people with developmental disabilities.

The plan involves all the public transportation providers, he said, but focuses on para-transit or on-demand services used by people with individual disabilities, seniors and those who take advantage of the Medicaid rides.

Nation said the Springdale session is aimed at identifying needs and developing consensus.

"Who better to give us the needs out there than the folks who either take advantage of the service or who were unaware of the service," he said. "That's going to give us some tools. Resource management is what it's all about -- a little bit more bang for the buck out of the deal and to work out gaps and overlaps and things of that nature."

The public is invited to visit anytime from 10:30 a.m. to noon to ask questions and offer comments. The meeting will follow an open house format. It will be at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, 1311 Clayton St.

For more information, contact the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department's Public Information Section at 501-569-2000 or info@ahtd.ar.gov.

NW News on 07/23/2017