Beginning June 1 and for three days a week, a transportation service for senior and disabled Grain Valley residents will be available.
OATS Transit, a non-profit that operates in 87 counties in Missouri, will be offering door-to-door or curb-to-curb service for residents age 65 and older or those 18-64 with a disability. It’s from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Trips are limited to the city limits of Grain Valley and Blue Springs, at $1 per one-way trip. Fare cards of $10 can be purchased.
OATS – Operating Above the Standard – is a public transportation system founded in 1971, providing transportation service for seniors and disabled for functions like work, essential shopping and medical appointments and many times connecting with other transportation services. It currently serves residents in Blue Springs, Lee's Summit and Buckner. OATS says it serves more than 32,000 Missouri residents and last year provided 1.5 million one-way trips.
Grain Valley Assistant City Administrator Ken Murphy said the city doesn't have a firm number on those who requested the service or plan to use it, but the desire for a transportation service has been mentioned at senior luncheons and medical offices for several years.
“The Board (of Aldermen) has heard about this for quite some time, and they directed us more than a year ago to look into something,” Murphy said. “It's kind of a trial program. We're leaving it open as much as possible.”
Mayor Mike Todd said city staff worked “diligently” to bring the service to Grain Valley.
“I am so happy that those in need of transportation will have this available to them at such a minimal cost per trip,” Todd said in a release.
Murphy said OATS will have two vehicles available – a minivan and a small bus – depending on the schedule load that day, with one main driver serving the community. Rides can be scheduled up to two weeks in advance and even earlier in the same day.
“It's entirely run through them,” Murphy said of OATS. “They provide the vehicles, staff, all of that.”
To schedule a ride, call 816-380-7433 between 8 a.m.-3 p.m.