The Community Alliance for Human Services, Inc. (CAHS) has announced that it “will regrettably cease operation of its Sullivan County rural public transportation service as of the close of business on September 9, 2016. CAHS and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) are working together to secure another provider for bus and volunteer driver services in Sullivan County.”
In a press release, the CAHS said that “Over the last several years, CAHS has experienced ongoing challenges to meet local match required to access committed Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding for rural public transportation (Section 5311), which funds the local bus service, and for seniors and individuals with disabilities (Section 5310), which funds the Volunteer Driver Program. In an effort to develop adequate sustainable local funding and assure delivery of the most efficient and cost-effective public and specialized transportation service to Sullivan County, CAHS applied for and received two planning grants. For the past year, CAHS has been working with National Rural Transit Assistance Program (NRTAP) and the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) to develop a viable plan for sustainable transportation services for the residents of Sullivan County. Due to the difficulty in securing local match over the last several years, CAHS now finds that it is unable to sustain current operations after September 9, 2016.”
CAHS and the NHDOT are currently in discussions with several entities to maintain services. CAHS and NHDOT are committed to identifying a new provider of Sullivan County public transportation services as quickly as possible, said Valerie Bailey, Interim Executive Director of the Alliance.
“It is with deep regret that this difficult decision to cease transportation services is made. The Community Alliance for Human Services will do all that it can to support the ongoing effort to secure a new transportation provider as soon as possible,” said Bailey.
Approximately 300 people in Sullivan County utilize both the bus service, and an average of 30-50 people per month receive rides through CAHS volunteer drivers. Service has been available in Claremont, Newport and Charlestown.
At last night’s City Council meeting, it was announced that the Alliance was not in a position to sponsor the “Reach The Peak” sporting event as it had done in the past as a fundraiser, scheduled for Aug. 27, and that the Claremont Parks and Rec Dept. would be taking over the event. Costs associated with the event will be offset by revenue brought in by participant registration and vendor fees.
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