JETS and NEAT working on a solution to overlapping routes - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

JETS and NEAT working on a solution to overlapping routes

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- The Jonesboro Economic Transit System and the North East Arkansas Transit are working on ways to coordinate between their transit routes.

JETS serve the city of Jonesboro while NEAT services those in the county or rural areas. This week a few passengers were unable to be picked up because they were outside JETS service area but still within city limits.

"We've got a real good opportunity right now that will provide a lot better transportation for people in the region of east Arkansas," said Steve Ewart, transit director for JETS. 

"Every once and a while you have a few situations where our service zones and their service zones have some degree of overlap and we've got to be real careful how we work through those."

JETS recently found out NEAT was picking up passengers within city limits transporting them to places JETS typically serve. Ewart said that's when he wanted to sit down with NEAT and come up with a plan.  

"There are some areas in Jonesboro that we cant serve because we don't have the local funding for," Ewart said. "They can operate in those areas that JETS doesn't operate."

It only becomes a problem when NEAT and JETS cover some of the SAME areas.

"What NEAT's limits are, they are not to initiate a trip within our service zone," he said. "If we don't operate within that zone, NEAT is not only allowed to but we encourage NEAT to operate within those zones."

Ewart said they are working on less than a dozen cases that involve people who live in between service areas.

"We don't want them to be in the dark, we don't want them to be confused, we don't want them to be frustrated," Ewart said. "There might be a person who lives within our service area but who needs to be served in an area outside our service area."

Most of those areas are health related services. Ewart said he spoke to Mayor Perrin Friday to inform him of the problem and to come up with possible solutions.

"That's what we are doing right now, just trying to make sure that people get the transportation that they need and deserve," Ewart said. 

Ewart said the process is ongoing and they will continue to work with NEAT to develop a plan.

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