MOSES LAKE — They can be seen at various times a day driving around Grant and Adams counties – People For People buses.
Transportation is one of several services that People For People offers. They contract with several different agencies to provide services, as well as providing fixed route service of their own in Adams County.
“Our services are funded by the Department of Transportation in a grant,” said Jan Ollivier, director of transportation for People For People. “It also funds some demand response services for people with special needs.”
People For People has nine fixed routes that help fill in the gaps in existing transportation in Grant, Adams and Lincoln counties. They also run Health Express shuttles from Moses Lake to Wenatchee and the Tri-Cities.
While a lot of their routes mainly involve getting people from town to town, Othello and Warden have a bus that helps people get around town.
“We provide services to go to the food bank, shop, get to a hair appointment or whatever,” said Bob Walsh, Eastern Region transportation manager for People For People.
People For People also provides curbside transportation for people requiring special assistance. They work with Aging and Adult Care, Grant Transit Authority (GTA) and other agencies to provide these services. Needs are evaluated on a case by case basis
“We can help an individual where GTA doesn’t provide services,” Walsh said. “In Adams and Lincoln counties, we can really expand out, keeping in mind that there is no public transportation.”
While helping out with needs, they try to go with services that will help the most number of people with the money they have available.
Not only does People For People provide transportation, they also help people learn how to ride the bus and navigate the various bus schedules. Rosenda Henley, People For People’s mobility manager and travel trainer, teaches people what they need to know to ride the bus. In October, she trained 49 different people, some of whom were from a class.
There is no cost to ride People for People bus routes.
“We are fare-free,” Walsh said. “Our routes are all donation based.”
For curbside pick ups in Grant County, riders are required to pay $1 as People For People is working as contractors for Grant Transit Authority.
Transportation isn’t the only service that People For People offers. They operate the Greater Columbia 2-1-1 which helps individuals locate the services they need. 2-1-1 also helps people apply for basic food assistance and answers any questions they have about the program.
In other counties, People For People also offers non-emergency medical transportation, Meals on Wheels, employment and training, transportation to job training and an ombudsman program. They offer services in all but four counties in eastern Washington.
To learn more about People For People, what they offer or get assistance with transportation, visit their website at pfp.org or call 765-9249.
Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.