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City of Olathe Taxi Coupon Voucher Program Creation of Program – Now and Then Seniors verbalized need for affordable, dependable and safe transportation system at Council Meeting in 1977 City Council has funded program annually. Current investment from city $296,000 from General Funds

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Creation of Program – Now and Then

  • Seniors verbalized need for affordable, dependable and safe transportation system at Council Meeting in 1977

  • City Council has funded program annually.

  • Current investment from city

    • $296,000 from General Funds

    • Provides and maintains wheelchair vehicles

    • Staff to administer program.


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Demographics of Olathe, Kansas

  • Population 122,000

  • Median Income 61,000

    • 7,352 out of 32,275 have incomes under $35,000. 23% of households

  • Located 17 miles southwest of Kansas City Metro area

  • Fastest growing city in Kansas - 150 years young

  • Approximately 13% of citizens are frail elderly and disabled.

  • 11% of citizens are disabled.

  • No mass transit system in Olathe. Limited fixed route is available.


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Overview of Olathe’s Program

  • Three components of program

    • Work Trips – To reach place of employment or job preparation classes

    • Medical Trips – Doctors or picking up Rx

    • General Transportation Trips (i.e. Grocery Shopping)

  • Contract with local taxi company/ies to provide a door to door service. Reimburse them $12.00 for every voucher submitted for reimbursement.

  • City provides wheelchair accessible vehicles to contractor/s


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Participant Guidelines

  • $2.50 for a one-way trip

  • Rides within City of Olathe boundaries

  • General transportation is limited to 20 one-way trips per month

  • Number of Work and/or Medical trips are unlimited

  • Eligibility Requirements

    • Work – Must have income under 80% of Median Income for area.

    • Seniors and Disabled – No income limits


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Characteristics of Program Participants

  • Mobility limited – Physical, illness or developmental disability

  • Financial – Unable to purchase and/or maintain a dependable vehicle

  • Self-Imposed Limitations – Choose not to own or drive vehicle (weather)


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Benefits to Participants

  • Obtain and maintain employment

  • Reduces reliance on family or friends

  • Improves quality of life

  • Keeps citizens from being homebound

  • Extension of living in an independent setting




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Lessons Learned

  • Recruitment of taxi companies

  • Marketing of service

  • Service employers not willing to adjust schedules of employees to adapt to transportation schedules.

  • Limits citizens from working or reaching training and/or medical appointments outside city boundaries

  • Not dependent on one source of funding

  • Utilize technology to reduce manual processing of vouchers

  • Coordination of services among transportation providers

  • Keep process simple for participants

  • Communication with developers and planners to ensure new construction addresses mobility issues for potential employees and customers

  • Meet the needs of our changing population


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Metro vs. Rural

  • Program could be reciprocated in rural area.

  • Utilize volunteers, not-for-profit agencies or churches as providers instead of taxi companies

  • Be creative when it comes to funding options. Look beyond federal (JARC and New Freedom), state and local govt. funds

  • Wheelchair vehicles could be purchased through federal grants

  • Involve your employers in the planning process

  • Coordination between cities and counties

  • Sliding fee scale depending on income and trip destination


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QUESTIONS

CONTACT:

KATHY RANKIN

CITY OF OLATHE

913-971-6260

[email protected]

www.olatheks.org


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