Pub­lic tran­sit meet­ing Tues­day in Spring­dale

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS -

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.

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.

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