Those who use the local Catch-a-Ride service from now through June 30, 2021, will travel to their Barton County destinations at no charge.
This is the result of a collaboration between Sunflower Diversified Services and the Kansas Department of Transportation.
Sunflower, a non-profit agency, serves children and adults with special needs.
“We appreciate what KDOT is doing to help the community during this pandemic,” said Christina Jimenez, Sunflower transportation manager. “Our Catch-a-Ride service is so important to Sunflower individuals, as well as the general public. It is available to all.
“Free transportation is especially important now,” Jimenez continued. “Times are tough for some people and we are happy to help. A free ride means one less worry.”
Jon Prescott, Sunflower chief executive officer, said KDOT helped make this possible because it is reimbursing 100 percent of transportation operating expenses. Normally, the state pays 70 percent.
“We were so excited to hear this news from the state,” Prescott said. “We know a lot of people rely on Catch-a-Ride for trips to medical appointments, the grocery store and any number of other destinations.
“The pandemic has resulted in the loss of jobs, and therefore the loss of the ability for pay transportation costs. Sunflower and the state of Kansas are here to help.”
The transportation fee is usually $2 or $4 for a round trip. Hours are 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays. Saturday and Sunday hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Catch-a-Ride service is offered through Sunflower’s General Public Transportation department.
Reservations are required. The number is 620-792-7797.