By Paige Nash
The Webster Parish Office of Community Services offers public transportation services for all residents, even those that live in the more rural portions of the parish.
Executive Director the Office of Community Services Melinda Davidson is hoping to see an increase in the number of riders. She said, “Encourage people in the parish to come ride with us, whether they have Medicaid, Medicare or want to pay the fare which I feel is very competitive.”
According to Davidson the current fare for a round-trip is less than 10 dollars. Residents who are wanting to travel within the city limits may be around 4 dollars per trip. Residents who live in surrounding towns will pay anywhere between 5 to 10 dollars per trip.
The transportation department prides themselves in providing a much needed service to those in the community that may require a reliable form of transportation to work, school and shopping for anything from clothing, groceries, prescriptions and everything in between. They provide this service for people with disabilities, low-income or those that just need assistance getting from Point A to B and back.
Since the pandemic the transportation department has suffered a decrease in riders.
“Our transportation department, every month, is getting better, but we need to do better,” said Davidson. “It never really increased from Covid, but it’s getting better.”
The department operates under the Section 5311- Rural Public Transportation Program. Currently, the maximum Federal share for operating assistance is 50 percent of the net operating costs. During the pandemic this program issued 100 percent reimbursements.
“Now that we are back to 50 percent we have to get the numbers of riders back up,” said Davidson.
The transportation department offers monthly bus passes for 80 dollars a month and is due within the first week of every month.
For more information on costs, schedules and coverage please contact their office at 318-377-7022 and dial extension #1.