The Fort Scott Area Community Foundation, along with other organizations and individuals, helped to save Fort Scott’s General Transportation Program after its funding fell short. The Fort Scott Area Community Foundation trustees recently approved and budgeted a $2,000 grant for the service.
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GPT Projected Funding Shortfall
Recently, it was announced by the program’s board members that the GPT’s budget was projecting an $8,700 shortfall for the 2013-14 year. Funding shortages have already caused the service, administered by the Bourbon County Senior Citizens, Inc., to adjust its budget and cut back on salaries.
Officials report the shortfall was a result of decreased state funding, in the form of a matching grant, and fuel cost and insurance rate increases.
About the GPT Program
The service runs three vehicles: two vans and one large bus with a wheelchair lift. Vehicles transport passengers eight hours per day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Transportation is available by appointment only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (The service has been cut back due to budget constraints.)
Many local residents take advantage of the service regularly to travel to work, go shopping or visit the doctor or other medical professionals. Visiting family and car breakdowns are also popular reasons why passengers utilize the transportation service.
Between 600 to 900 riders use the program monthly, paying $3 per ride. (The fares were raised previously to help meet increasing costs incurred by the organization.)
Other organizations and individuals have contributed to the program’s shortfall including Mercy Hospital, Fort Scott Rotary Club, City of Fort Scott, Visioning a Healthier Bourbon County and Charles Gentry, local attorney. The local funds are being utilized to earn a matching grant from the state of Kansas necessary to cover the costs of the program.