GREENE CATS PUBLIC TRANSIT Marks Milestone 20th Year of Service
It was a cold wintry day in 2001 when Greene CATS first began as a public transit service. The operator at that time, MV Transportation, utilized four rental sedans and two old small buses which had one wheelchair position and five seats. Scheduling was done using Excel spreadsheets. Twenty years later, Greene CATS has expanded their fleet to 45 vehicles all handicap accessible with lifts or ramps, 35 of which can accommodate two wheelchairs with an average age of only 2.1 years, and capacities to transport 4, 6, 12, or 18 passengers. Scheduling is now accomplished with a computerized system with tablets in each vehicle hosted in the “Cloud”. A notification module was added to the scheduling system in 2017 that calls riders the day before their scheduled rides to provide them with exact pick up and drop off times, which improves customer service and efficiency.
Contracted with current operator, First Transit, Greene CATS continues to provide Scheduled Rides and Flex Routes for the general public in addition to non-emergency medical transportation for those who qualify for Medicaid, community placement transportation for developmentally disabled individuals, transportation for adults and youth attending mental health and rehab programs, transportation for seniors to medical appointments. Also in 2017, weekend flex routes were added to the service to further assist Greene County residents in moving about the communities of Beavercreek, Fairborn, Xenia and Yellow Springs as well as connecting to the Dayton RTA system.
Since the 15th anniversary celebration of service, Greene CATS has also, unfortunately, seen a reduction of service. First in 2019 when the service was reduced by a third when transportation to developmentally disabled individuals of adult day programs was taken over by Greene Inc. and other providers. Many of these passengers had been riding with Greene CATS since the service began. Then again in 2020 when a worldwide pandemic reduced the service in half again initially and by a third for most of the year. Greene CATS, despite these challenges, continues to employ an essential workforce who are critical in assisting those who are transportation disadvantaged get to their essential jobs, medical appointments, and essential shopping trips all the while providing safe, reliable, and accessible transportation. “It is remarkable that Greene County has been able to sustain a public transportation service for twenty years and a tribute to the staff and community volunteers that brings local government and social service agencies together in a collaborative effort to provide 120,000 one way trips annually to those individuals in our communities who need safe, reliable, and accessible transportation” ~ Ken Collier, Executive Director