Drivers are fully “Back In The Seat Again”
by Angela Rogalski
The Bolivar Bullet
The Bolivar County Council on Aging, Inc. (BCCOA) has resumed its normal schedule for public transit. Its drivers are fully “Back In The Seat Again,” according to Executive Director LaShonda McKinney.
“We never stopped during the pandemic, although we did slow down, with lower than projected transportation trips,” said McKinney. “But we did continue to offer vital transportation services to the community.”
BCCOA transports individuals to work, school, medical and shopping destinations and is an important component for many people when it comes to getting back and forth during their daily commuting.
“During the height of the pandemic, things did slow down, but for critical care trips, such as dialysis, cancer treatments, and other significant medical issues, our transits were on the road,” said McKinney. “But, today we want the community to know that we are back up and running completely. However, we know that some people are still not comfortable with riding the bus, but we just wanted everyone to know that we’re here and available. We’re following all protocols and are in line with the CDC guidelines for seating. We keep the bus clean and safe for everyone and hope people will feel comfortable riding.”
McKinney said routes are going every day, including their employee commuter route to the casinos.
“Since the pandemic, we have downsized the routes; we only do one time a day as opposed to when we were doing three shifts, but we have continued the first shift. Many people lost their jobs due to the pandemic, so we had to downsize the routes, but we’re prayerful that will continue to pick back up as things begin to change. We start in Bolivar County, with a pickup in Cleveland and we also cover Sunflower County, with a pickup in Drew. And the bus leaves Cleveland at 4:00 a.m.”
McKinney said the BCCOA also contracts with Life Help, coordinating schedules to move their clients throughout Bolivar, Sunflower and Washington counties.
“We never stopped with Life Help,” she added. “We followed all guidelines and transported their clients to and from facilities. And, as of this week, we gained a great number of additional clients to this transport, even over in Humphreys County.”
McKinney added the BCCOA’s transit services are for everyone, not just the elderly or physically challenged. Individuals who need transportation should call 1-877-866-8272 in the Bolivar county area. McKinney reminds everyone to ride transit, because they’re “Back in the Seat Again.”