JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- The JonesboroEconomic Transit System and the North East Arkansas Transit are working on waysto coordinate between their transit routes.
JETS serve the city of Jonesboro whileNEAT services those in the county or rural areas. This week a few passengerswere unable to be picked up because they were outside JETS service area butstill within city limits.
"We've got areal good opportunity right now that will provide a lot better transportationfor people in the region of east Arkansas," said Steve Ewart, transit director for JETS.
"Every onceand a while you have a few situations where our service zones and their servicezones have some degree of overlap and we've got to be real careful how we workthrough those."
JETS recently found out NEAT was picking up passengers within city limits transportingthem to places JETS typically serve. Ewart said that's when he wanted to sitdown with NEAT and come up with a plan.
"There aresome areas in Jonesboro that we cant serve because we don't have the localfunding for," Ewart said. "They canoperate in those areas that JETS doesn't operate."
It only becomesa problem when NEAT and JETS cover some of the SAME areas.
"What NEAT'slimits are, they are not to initiate a trip within our service zone," he said. "If we don'toperate within that zone, NEAT is not only allowed to but we encourage NEAT tooperate within those zones."
Ewart saidthey are working on less than a dozen cases that involve people who live in betweenservice areas.
"We don't wantthem to be in the dark, we don't want them to be confused, we don't want themto be frustrated," Ewart said. "There mightbe a person who lives within our service area but who needs to be served in anarea outside our service area."
Most ofthose 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 whatwe are doing right now, just trying to make sure that people get thetransportation that they need and deserve," Ewart said.
Ewart saidthe process is ongoing and they will continue to work with NEAT to develop aplan.