OATS Transit Forced to Eliminate Arnold City Route in February
Just one month after OATS Transit took over administration of the JeffCo Express service, the City of Arnold announced budget cuts that also affect the local transportation program. The City of Arnold funds served as the local match required for the federal urban grant, however the City funds ran out December 31st.
With the City of Arnold opting not to fund transportation in 2020, OATS Transit is forced to eliminate the City service without the much needed local match. OATS Transit officials have made the decision to end the City of Arnold route effective February 7th.
These cuts not only affect our riders, but also the businesses who rely on our buses to bring customers to them.
“This is unfortunate for City riders who relied on transportation to get to work, essential shopping, and business errands,” said Dorothy Yeager, OATS Transit Executive Director. “The City of Arnold route provided 500-600 rides each month, and stopped at more than 30 business locations throughout the day."
OATS Transit drivers who were operating the Arnold route will be moved to other routes where there are current driver shortages. 50% of the Arnold service was funded by the 5310 urban grant through Bi-State Development, and the remaining 50% came from the City of Arnold. Rural service (cross-county blue and green routes), and OATS services for seniors and individuals with disabilities, will not affected by these cuts.
County service is funded by 5311 federal funding through MoDOT, and other local partners such as the Developmental Disability Advocates, Jefferson Foundation, Aging Ahead, Missouri Elderly & Handicapped Assistance Program, Medicaid Waiver and rider fares.
Jefferson County residents wanting to schedule a ride can call the local Festus office at 636-933-9380. Schedules can be found online at www.oatstransit.org/jefferson, or by picking up a brochure at several local businesses.