Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency’s public transportation program has received two 2016 Ford E450 ADA-equipped vehicles.
UCHRA executive director Luke Collins presented the vehicle keys to County Executive Herschel Wells on Monday. The vehicles can hold 14 passengers and were funded by a grant from the Federal Transit Administration and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
“We do wonderful work here at UCHRA,” said Collins. “By providing services to people who need them, we deliver hope. Some people take a ride to the store or a doctor’s appointment for granted. For those without transportation, this service is life or death. Our vision is to create a new direction to move people from dependence to independence. Our motto, “Delivering Hope” serves to remind us that everyone needs help – everyone can help.”
The program provides affordable, safe, dependable public transportation to rural residents of all ages, giving first priority to elderly, handicapped and economically disadvantaged with medical needs while providing deviated fixed route and demand-response service.
Local trips are $1 each way and $1 for each additional stop. Fares outside of designated local area are based on miles traveled and will be charged accordingly. Scheduling is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Customers should call their local office to schedule a trip at least 48 hours in advance. Requests made less than 48 hours in advance will be considered based on available space.
This past year the program provided 34,153 trips to 1,702 individuals and traveled 390,426 miles. The newly purchased vehicles will be used in the I-24 express route running twice daily to Murfreesboro/ Nashville. The I-24 express route departs McMinnville at 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. Monday thru Friday.
The transit program is only one service UCHRA provides in the community. Other services include energy assistance, emergency assistance, nutrition services, employment and training, and homemaker aide/chore services, etc.
“Our mission is to promote a strong sense of community and family values by administering programs designed to provide tools, knowledge and resources to improve the quality of life, promote a positive sense of individual self-worth, encourage responsible decision making and provide opportunities for individuals to become productive and independent,” said Collins.
For more information about the services provided at UCHRA, call 473-6652. Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.