Program includes free fares and software pilot program
A new American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) grant is providing subsidy for Native Americans residing in northeast Oklahoma. According to the Seneca News-Dispatch, Seneca, MO, as of this summer residents began receiving reduced fares to ride Pelivan Transit and even for free transportation in some travel zones.
While the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma is the primary tribe for this FTA funding opportunity, this new tribal transit consortium under Pelivan Transit includes nine tribes in Ottawa County: Eastern Shawnee, Miami, Modoc, Ottawa, Peoria, Quapaw, Seneca-Cayuga, Shawnee and Wyandotte.
Established in 1985, Pelivan Transit operates under the Grand Gateway Economic Development Agency. Transportation services are open to the public in area cities of Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Ottawa and Rogers counties.
To qualify for reduced fares riders must provide at the time of pick-up a CDIB card (certificate of Indian degree blood) or tribal membership card to verify affiliation with the respective tribe.
Pelivan Transit currently has a fleet of 28 vehicles ranging from four-passenger wheelchair accessible mini-vans, 14-passenger vans for road-to-work projects and 11-passenger wheelchair accessible microbuses.
In August the Northeast Oklahoma Tribal Transit program received four ADA-compliant shuttle buses and three ADA mini-vans for service on eight new routes in Ottawa and Delaware counties. One will be converted to CNG and used for transport to area nutrition sites for elders’ lunch programs.
Phase 3 begins in October when the agency will have the capability to book 24-hour advance reservations from telephone and online requests. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has been developing automated software called TransitAssistant through the University of Oklahoma and is utilizing Pelivan Transit as a pilot to further develop this program. This system allows the agency to keep track of the new tribal transit ridership data.
Annual federal grants provide some of the resources for the rural transportation service, which operate under a Section 5311 grant. Local match monies are provided by local, county and state government bodies as well as employers involved in the road-to-work projects. BR