The Marshall County Council on Aging continues to cater to more and more patrons with transportation needs.
Executive Director Jackie Wright gave the Marshall County Commissioners an annual report this week and said they have been turning down requests for transportation as they aren’t able to accommodate all of the requests. About 60 denials were given in each quarter in 2014. She explained driver and vehicle availability and hours in the operation day were the main reasons why those requests were denied. The agency has nine vehicles with 15 drivers.
In 2014, the agency transported residents to different locations totaling 200,000 miles, one-way. More trips and riders are expected this year that could put a strain on the budget. They are on pace to assist 28,000 people this year.
While an increase in funding is expected, Wright said she is going to keep potential funding options open.
“We are going to be looking at what INDOT can do for us and then we’re going to have to, in 2016 or 2017, continue to look for additional outlying resources. It could be the townships – I don’t know. The trend keeps going up and INDOT is not going to keep going with it. We just have a large population that is in need of transportation,” commented Wright.
Wright added that they do what they can to consolidate services to try and get in as many requests for transportation as possible. They also partner with other businesses and organizations to help offset costs.