Public transportation: ‘Where are we now and what’s next?’

By Shelley Ratliff - For PCCOA

EATON — This is the second in a series of articles regarding public transportation in Preble County.

As I explained in the last article, the designation from the commissioners is for three years and will be under regular review by the Preble County Commissioners. We should get word in the next few days if we are permitted to apply for the grant funding.

If we are approved, we will be applying in April for funding that would typically be federal and state grants; this first year may be mainly Ohio General Revenue Fund dollars for the public transit start up and the normal federal grants to continue the senior transportation services.

State money would be available beginning July 1, 2022, to allow start up preparations such as hiring and training dispatchers and drivers in the fall of 2022, to begin service in early 2023.

Once we are given the “go-ahead” to apply, we will spend 1 ½ to 2 months working on the application. This application will be completed in conjunction with our typical request for ODOT funding. It will be more work, but it will be worth it in the end.

I don’t have any confirmed dates when the application will be available or due but Curt McNew and I are working together to make it happen.

At this point in time, I have nothing else share regarding public transportation. We encourage you to ask questions and give us ideas of what you think public transportation in Preble County should look like. Reach out to us in person if you see us, call Curt at 937-634-9060, email us at [email protected], or leave comments on the Preble County Transit Facebook page.

I would like to remind everyone that one program Preble County Council on Aging does offer is travel. Some of our trips we are offering this year include:

•April 7 — Dayton Live (Shuster Center) — Come from Away

•April 27 — National Underground Railroad Freedom Center & American Sign Museum

•May 31 — Dayton Dragons Game

•June 23 — Cincinnati Reds Game

•July 12 — Belterra Park Casino

•August 12 — La Comedia — West Side Story

Trips range is price based on destination and included amenities. Become a member for only $10/year and receive discounted member pricing. Call Karen Roberts at 937-456-4947 for more information.

By Shelley Ratliff