In recent months, a coalition headquartered in Fort Scott has been working to address transportation needs for all Bourbon County, including rural residents.
A service to meet these needs will start August 28 and is called BB-Go Transportation.
“BB-Go Transportation is an affordable option, $1 donation is suggested, but not required,” Rachel Carpenter, the lead in the Local Health Equity Team (LHEAT), said. That entity is under the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team umbrella, whose office is at 104 N. National Avenue.
“There is no restrictions on riders,” Scott Christiansen, Transportation Director at Southeast Kansas Community Action Program, said. “This is tax payer funded so there are no age or income restrictions.”
“The donations offsets what KDOT reimburses us for the service,” Christiansen said.
BB-GO Transportation will service anyone in Bourbon County on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the operation hours of 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The LHEAT partnered with Southeast Kansas Community Action Program, Inc. to expand their transportation program to Bourbon County.
To schedule a ride, call 620-724-6350.
The rides are are a first come, first served basis.
To have the best selection of times, schedule 1 to 7 days in advance.
Same-day rides given are based on availability.
BB-GO Transportation will be wheelchair accessible.
Drivers will be certified with the Kansas Department of Transportation and will meet all training and safety requirements.
The funding is through federal, state and local funds.
“The Federal Transit Administration and Kansas Department of Transportation 5311 Grant supplies 70% of the operating costs, and 30% comes from local matching funds from the Local Healthy Equity Action Team (LHEAT) grant through Kansas University Medical Center’s Communities Organizing to Promote Equity program, Peerless Products, Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center, and Community Christian Church,” she said.
Jody Hoener is the Southeast Kansas Regional Community Lead for LHEAT.
“The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team’s coalition Local Health Equity Action Team has been developing both upstream and downstream approaches to address the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) in Bourbon County,” Carpenter said.
This service adds options for those without a car.
“Currently, there is only one option for public transportation in the county that services the City of Fort Scott,” Carpenter said.
The cost of this transportation service can hinder people from social activities, medical appointments, jobs, dining and education, she said.