The Kansas Department of Transportation has awarded Johnson County Transit one-time funding of $1,027,278 for four pilot projects and associated software and capital purchases, which includes the expansion of the microtransit service area, a pilot for on-demand transportation programs focused on access to health care, neonatal care and fresh local food, and the purchase of new software and infrastructure improvements for transit vehicles. The funds, awarded at a 90/10 split, require the county to provide a local match in the amount of $102,728 from transit reserves. The Johnson Board of County Commission approved the match during its meeting today, Aug. 13.
“We’re excited to provide additional opportunities for residents to access vital services in the community. Public transportation, through these pilots, will provide for greater flexibility for residents to get what they need, when they need it,” said Josh Powers, Johnson County. “We appreciate these state-county and private-public partnerships to help vulnerable populations.”
• Expansion of the current microtransit service area to capture areas with higher prevalence of poverty, low-income and disability and senior populations.
• The implementation of on-demand transportation for health care systems in Johnson County focusing on getting transportation-disadvantaged patients to maintenance health care appointments in order to reduce inappropriate emergency room visits.
• A pilot program in partnership with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment to expand access to prenatal services to teenage and/or low-income mothers and their children.
• A pilot program in partnership with JCDHE to identify patients from partner health care systems in Johnson County in order to provide access to existing food pantries in the county.
“We are proud to support Johnson County’s efforts to improve opportunities for those with healthcare transportation challenges,” said Lacey Kane, community outreach liaison for Olathe Health. “Our community has identified transportation as a top priority through our health needs assessment and improvement planning process. Access to care and to healthy food options are keys to a healthy community.”
The two technology/Infrastructure projects are:
• Software to be used in tracking long-term health outcomes for participants in the healthcare, prenatal and food access pilot programs, and
• Fleet modernization through the purchase and installation of Automatic Passenger Counters (APC’s) on our fixed route transit buses in order to track where riders board and deboard vehicles through Global Positioning System (GPS), which will greatly aid in transit planning efforts.