Bourbon County residents will have additional access to transportation through the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas CareVan program.
The ride service officially rolls out on Sept. 15, with a van featuring an accessible wheelchair lift designed to enhance mobility of individuals with disabilities. Plans call to increase the number of vehicles as they become available. The project is funded by the KDOT Public Transportation Program.
Ride services are available 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday. Rides are scheduled by calling 833-228-7433. There is no charge to patients for the service. Donations to the program are accepted.
“In rural communities, we understand that transportation is critical to an individual’s independence, so we do our best to get residents where they need to go,” says Dee Yount, CHC/SEK’s Transportation Program Manager. “We provide in-county trips to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, work locations, social outings, and more, we want to remove the barriers that the lack of transportation can cause so our communities have every opportunity to thrive.”
Although CareVan provides rides to anyone in need of transportation services, Yount reminds potential riders that unlike an on-demand taxi service, reservations must be made and rides are available on a first come, first served basis.
Riders who need additional support when traveling receive help from trained drivers who will escort riders with door-through-door service, Yount says. Dispatch and drivers are trained to provide more than just safe transportation, but positive social interactions and sense of community with each ride, Yount added. “Our mission is to provide our guests and the communities we serve with dignity, respect and compassion,” he says.