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More Northwoods Public Transporation Options Possible


The county boards in Oneida, Vilas and Forest counties will soon vote whether to form a Transit Commission in the Northwoods. It could mean more transportation options for all citizens.

Oneida County Department on Aging Director Dianne Jacobson says the three county departments  have had transportation for elderly and disabled citizens for many years. But a Transit Commission could be grant funded and provide rides for anyone.

Jacobson says after years of discussion, action could happen next month...

"....we've had enough positive feedback that we are moving forward now with resolutions to each of the county boards. I'm proud to say Oneida County Commission on Aging was the first to have a meeting to pass the resolution that will now go on to Oneida county board at their August meeting...."

Jacobson says they spend about $150,000 dollars a year in Oneida county each year. Jacobson says if a multi-county Transit Commission is formed, the funding will increase by 150 percent.

Jacobson was asked what it would mean for residents in the three counties...

"....for an older adult, or an adult with disabilities compared to what they have now they will have more options. A person of the general public who hasn't had access to that transportation, now they will have more options...."

Jacobson says that doesn't necessarily mean there will be buses and bus stops. She says similiarly populated areas have seen more vans as an example, but they aren't prepared now to make any plans until the votes by the county boards are  completed. She said other options could be vouchers for taxis or possibly volunteer drivers paid mileage.

Jacobson says if approval is given this fall, they will be applying for funding and the first new transportation offerings in the counties could appear in 2015. Jacobson says anyone interested in the topic may contact her at her office or look for upcoming public information sessions...

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