(Omaha, NE) — The Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging is ending its Rural Transportation service.
ENOA says it’s ending the program on June 30, 2023. Trish Bergman, Executive Director, released this statement:
“Our Department of Transportation grant is expiring, and we have decided with the support of our Governing Board to not renew our application for the next fiscal year. This was not an easy decision to make as we all know there is a lack of affordable transportation options within our communities. Running a transportation program is quite costly. The grant’s federal and state funding reimburses a large portion of expenses. As part of the grant requirements, however, ENOA must also fund a portion of the expenses. With the continued rise in fuel costs, insurance, maintenance and repair costs, ENOA’s portion has increased each year.”
“In addition, this grant program is considered public transportation, which means that ENOA is required to schedule rides on a first-come, first-serve basis, to whoever, to go wherever within the Rural Transportation boundaries. While we encourage older and disabled adults to use this service, there is never a guarantee there will be an open slot for them.”
“In light of all of this, ENOA has decided to reallocate the funds we currently use for the Rural Transportation Program back into our other ENOA programs. With the increase in our older population, more individuals need assistance with their basic needs. We feel we need to prioritize our funding towards Meals on Wheels program, in-home and caregiver services.”
ENOA’s Information and Assistance Division maintains a listing of transportation services available within the communities ENOA serves. That listing is updated regularly and can be requested by calling 402-444-6444 or found on the website.