Personal pickups for those in need sees increase in past few years

U Jet Vans Available For Those In Need

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Jonesboro JET bus service has personal transportation for those with disabilities or medical needs, with the need great in the area, officials said Thursday.

Paratransit services use vans to pick up riders and deliver them to their destinations. According to the director of transit, Michael Black, the need in Jonesboro has grown.

“We started our paratransit service in 2006,” he said. “It has grown each year. Over the past two years, we’ve grown at 10 percent or more each year.”

In 2019 alone, the need has increased by seven percent since this time last year.

The van transport is more expensive to operate in comparison to the transit route.

“We are in the process of looking for other funding sources as well,” he said. “Right now, our paratransit service is funded at 80 percent federal and 20 percent local match.”

There is a total of four vans, with three of which being used constantly, keeping the fourth one as a backup in case of mechanical problems.

Black is involved in the transit business because of the service it provides for the citizens of Jonesboro.

“Transportation improves everyone’s quality of life, improves our economy and there’s quite a few customers in town that really doesn’t have any family, or their family doesn’t have the availability to get out and drive them,” he said.

The only stipulation to the van transport is the approval for the services. An application process is required to become a rider.

The customer must submit an application. A primary care provider must also submit their approval and send in their information to the paratransit coordinator.

To receive an application and learn more, call 870-935-5387.

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