Jasper County Community Services Transit Team, shown L-R: drivers Nancy Walter, Dave Rollins, John Johnson, Ed Feicht and Tammy Ponder, and Kelly Bauer (Transportation Director). Not Pictured is Kim Stahlhut (Transportation Assistant/Dispatcher).

JASPER COUNTY, Ind. — Jasper County Community Services offers the only public transportation services in Jasper County, Indiana. Many individuals take advantage of the transportation opportunities. JCCS public transportation is available Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (CST) Due to the Covid Relief Cares Act, provided by the Federal Transportation Authority, there are no fees for public transportation to ride any of the public vehicles through December 31, 2021. Donations are accepted and will be used for future transportation expenses.

This is a great opportunity to experience the benefits of public transportation. Kelly Bauer, Jasper County Transportation Director, has seen the changes in the need and the importance of public transportation over the past 26 years. As a certified trainer and instructor for safety, vehicle operation, and education, she ensures that the JCCS Transit team meets the needs of transportation for those served. She attends and participates in state and federal training, that are vital to transit operations, as well as maintaining certification in FTA regulations regarding the Transit Drug and Alcohol screenings and operational mandates of the program requirements. The JCCS fleet of 8 transportation vehicles includes minivans, wheelchair-equipped transit busses, and the Headstart vehicles.

The public transit vehicle lifts can accommodate chairs up to 30 inches wide and have load limits of 600 pounds. All mobility assistive chairs will be properly and safely secured to the floor of the vehicle. For safety and education, all agency drivers and dispatchers operate in conjunction with KIRPC and Indiana RTAP safety guidelines. Drivers and dispatchers are trained and certified as Master Drivers to ensure up-to-date safety guidelines. Training sessions include, but are not limited to pre-trip inspections, stress management, road hazards, driving techniques, defensive driving, and assistive passenger techniques. In addition to these certifications, all drivers are certified in CPR, First Aid, and AED.

Jasper County Transportation offers a demand response service, simply call the center location nearest you to schedule a ride for into town services. For out-of-town transportation needs, within the state of Indiana, calls need to be directed to the main Transportation office in Rensselaer at 219-866-8071. The transportation service is curb to curb pick up. The normal response time is within 15 minutes before or after the scheduled time of pick up.

To accommodate the needs of an individual, inform the scheduler, at the time of requesting a ride, if there is use of a wheelchair, walker, portable oxygen, service animal, or if there are vision or hearing difficulties, so accommodations can be in place. Indiana law states that children birth to 8 years of age must ride in an infant or booster seat, seats must be provided and secured by the parent or guardian.

All riders must wear a seat belt. Currently, the FTA requires that all riders to wear a protective face covering on any transportation vehicle. Jasper County Community Services receives transportation funding and support through Arrowhead County Public Transit. For those 55 and over Northwest Indiana Community Action also provides funding to assist in transportation operations. Public transportation is a safe and dependable means of getting to personal and medical appointments, going to the grocery stores, pharmacies and running day-to-day errands.

Use of public transportation is widely used by those visiting friends, visits to care and senior living centers or hospitals. Each day many seniors ride and enjoy the transportation services to and from the Senior Centers within the county.

Jasper County Community Services Executive Director, Sharon Colee, shared, “Knowing we are providing safe transportation in up to date and well-equipped vehicles continue to be important factors in offering dependable public transportation. The vehicles seen and used in our transportation program represent the operations of our transportation program. We are very proud of our transit drivers, dispatchers and being directed by an experienced, trained, and dedicated Transportation Director that makes the Transportation program a priority and a dependable service for those we serve.”

Jasper County Community Services encourages the use of public transportation for all ages. To schedule a ride or obtain more information call 219-866-8071, option #1 for Out-of-Town availability and in town Rensselaer or Remington transportation requests. For the DeMotte/Wheatfield in town area needs call 219-987-7909. Jasper County Community Services encourages the community to depend upon these available services for safe and reliable transportation needs.

Visit the Jasper County Community Services Facebook page at Jasper County Community Services or on the web at www.jaspercountycommunityservices.com for complete agency information and services.

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