COLUMBIA, Oct. 12 –- OATS Transit ridership numbers remain strong after 47 years in business; service continues to grow in popularity thanks to the agency’s commitment to provide safe, caring and reliable transportation. But, that’s not a huge surprise considering they are one of the largest rural transportation providers in the nation.
The company reports providing 1.55 million trips in fiscal year 2018- 80,000 more trips than last year. Of the service provided, 45% was for work transportation, 17% for medical, 8% senior center trips, 8% for essential shopping, and the remainder for business errands, education and recreation. OATS Transit buses cover 15.6 million miles annually, so it’s no surprise that beyond driver wages, the largest expense is fuel, vehicle maintenance and insurance.
“The steady ridership increase is a clear indication that more people and agencies are choosing our transit system,” said OATS Transit Executive Director Dorothy Yeager. New service over the last year included Lees Summit city transportation, a new Bagnell Dam Strip Express during the summer months, and some additional InterCity routes just to name a few. “OATS Transit would not be able to provide the high level of service if it weren’t for the funding support from hundreds of agencies and individuals in Missouri,” added Yeager. The company stands by their vision- Every OATS community receives superior transportation services. OATS Transit drivers undergo rigorous training each year to uphold the company’s commitment to provide safe transportation in the communities they serve.
In September, the company was recognized by the Federal Transit Administration with the Rural Transit Excellence Award for highest percentage increase in ridership. OATS Transit also receive two marketing awards this year from the National Rural Transit Assistance Program in Washington DC – one for its website, and the other for its publicity materials.
OATS Transit is a private, not-for-profit corporation, providing specialized transportation in 87 Missouri counties. Agencies, local governments, businesses or individuals interested in contracting for transportation services are encouraged to call 888-875-6287. The organization has a staff of over 765 employees and a fleet of 800 vehicles statewide. For more information about OATS Transit please visit their website at www.oatstransit.org or follow them on social media.