By Kristen Watson | Posted on Monday, March 19, 2012 at 9:16 am
This month the Linc is celebrating 10 years of public transportation in Lincoln County.
The Linc serves all of Lincoln County and provides about 750 trips per month. The Linc is available to anyone in Lincoln County. It is a collaborative project between the county, OATS, local businesses, Delta Center, Community Opportunities, Troy Area Chamber of Commerce, Boonslick Regional Planning Commission, and the Lincoln County Health Department.
The Linc Taskforce began as a committee of the Healthy Communities initiative. The taskforce began by conducting a county-wide survey in 2001 to determine the need for public transportation. The survey helped determine the need, the destinations, the potential ridership, and the hours of operation.
Service began March 18, 2002. OATS, Incorporated is the contract provider. OATS maintains an office in Troy for the Linc which greatly benefits citizens of Lincoln County as the dispatcher provides information and assistance on all of the transportation options OATS provides in the area.
Start-up funding for the Linc was provided by a Community Development Block Grant. Current funding is provided by Federal Highway Administration 5311 (through OATS), Community Opportunities, the county of Lincoln, Delta Center, and through the ads on the vans purchased by local businesses. Fares are also collected from riders. The fare is $2 each time a rider boards the van.
The Linc also provides transportation for out of county medical appointments. This route was initially funded through a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health. The fare for the out of county medical riders is $10 round trip.
It operates Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. Fifty percent of the trips are for employment. Other trips are mostly for medical appointments and shopping. Since its inception the Linc has provided over 110,000 rides.
The LINC taskforce serves in an advisory capacity. Current members of the advisory committee are Kelly Hardcastle, Lincoln County Economic Development; Mary Sullivan-Thomas, Community Opportunities; Steve Etcher, Boonslick Regional Planning Commission; Nancy Murphy, Delta Center; Donna Walton, LC Health Department; Mark Cross, City of Troy; Kristen Gentry, Department of Social Services-Family Support Division; Kerry Klump, Troy Area Chamber of Commerce; Sheree Webb, OATS; Becky Hoskins, LC Resource Board, and Brian Scott, Community Opportunities.
Many communities throughout the state have inquired about how to replicate the Linc service in their communities. The Linc was recognized as an Innovation Award winner by the National Association of Development Organizations for Innovations in Rural Transportation. The LINC also received a Cutting-Edge Award from Missouri Association of County Developmental Disabilities Services for providing inclusive transportation. If you are interested in purchasing an ad on the Linc to help support this vital public transportation service, please contact Kelly Hardcastle (636)528-6182.
To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Linc free rides are being provided on Friday, March 23. You must call for a reservation at least 24 hours in advance. The rides are first come first serve. Reservations can be made by calling (866) 261-5462 or (636) 528-2831. Reservation Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.