Archive for Thursday, March 13, 2008

FlexRide adds Olathe route

March 13, 2008

As routes expand and gasoline prices continue to climb, the two-day a week De Soto transit program appeals to more riders, officials say.

Starting March 4, FlexRide started Wednesday commutes to Olathe in addition to its Tuesday routes to Shawnee.

The trips to northwestern Olathe include stops at the Olathe Medical Center's College Point Medical Plaza at Kansas Highway 7 and College Boulevard and Price Chopper at K-7 and Santa Fe Avenue. The bus also will stop at a Wal-Mart at K-7 and Santa Fe when it opens this spring.

The Olathe trip is ment to augment the Tuesday trip to Shawnee, which includes stops at Monticello area shops and Shawnee Station, said Phil Detrixhe, marketing manager of Johnson County Transit.

In particular, Detrixhe said the Olathe loop was added with the intent of giving De Soto residents more options in medical services. The FlexRide bus is equipped with a wheelchair lift platform.

The Olathe loop has been talked about for some time, said De Soto Multi-Service Center Director Jodi Hitchcock, who was on the committee that helped start FlexRide program.

"It's one more response to the needs of our community," she said. "We're just trying to help members of the community access services in Olathe."

In the fall, a FlexRide loop to the K-7/Prairie Star Parkway area will be added, Hitchcock and Detixhe said.

The majority of FlexRide's current riders are disabled or seniors, but it is available to the general public, Hitchcock said.

"With gas prices at $3.15 or higher, it might be an option for more people, she said.

The FlexRide program was started in July 2006 with funding from the city of De Soto, Mr. Goodcents Foundation and Johnson County Transit.

It offers both routes within the city and the weekly trips to Shawnee and Olathe. The Tuesday and Wednesday routes start at the Clearview City Clubhouse at 9:30 a.m. with subsequent stops at Prospector's Point, downtown De Soto, the De Soto Library, De Soto Senior Center, Dollar General and Valley Springs Apartments.

In addition, riders are able to request a curbside pick-up and drop-off to and from any location within the De Soto city limits by calling the toll-free reservation line, (913) 397-7300.

Riders also will be able to board and de-board the bus at any of the designated transit stops.

For more information, visit Johnson County Transit's Web site at www.thejo.com.

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