(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the sixth in our series of articles featuring the people and programs of Cardinal Services in their 60th anniversary year.)
Michelle Boxell Community Relations Manager
Kosciusko Area Bus Service was created as a division of Cardinal Services in 1981. For 33 years they have been fulfilling its mission of Meeting the public transportation needs of Kosciusko County by providing transportation that is reliable, affordable and accessible.
You are probably more familiar with the tagline seen on every bus: Getting You There! Currently KABS is providing 3,900 rides per month to all of Kosciusko County. That is a lot of people getting to where they need to go. The majority of these rides are for work, medical appointments and school.
A common question KABS receives: Do you provide rides for anyone in the community? The answer to this question is Yes! KABS is appointed and regulated as an Indiana Department of Transportation Public Transportation Provider. It is made available to all citizens of Kosciusko County and will provide rides within the county limits. Funding for KABS is provided by Kosciusko County, City of Warsaw, INDOT/FTA, Cardinal Services, and other local contributors.
As well as being a public transportation provider, KABS is also an approved Medicaid Transportation Service Provider. Non-emergency medical trips can be facilitated by KABS for those with approved transportation benefits. These trips are approved for the entire state of Indiana.
There is a difference between KABS services compared to a larger urban provider. Being a small rural provider, services are arranged on a “call and demand” system. This requires the rider to call in advance for a reservation so that the ride can be arranged, compared to having several bus stops located throughout the county. Studies were done to assess the need for standard bus stops. Findings concluded that the typical bus stop is not an option due to low demand and cost factors. Therefore, KABS is a curb-to-curb service. Drivers are allowed to assist passengers off of the bus but cannot escort them to their final destination.
All KABS vehicles are equipped with electric wheelchair lifts for total accessibility. All KABS drivers are INDOT certified with CDL license and are trained annually in passenger safety, defensive driving, and mobility securement procedures.
Rides are arranged by calling KABS dispatch, preferably a day in advance.
Pre-scheduled ride rates:
- $1 each way for rides up to 10 miles
- $2 each way for rides 11-25 miles
- $3 each way for rides exceeding 26 miles
If rides are not pre-scheduled there is a four-dollar fee added to the standard fee to accommodate the last minute scheduling needs.
For more information on KABS, please visit www.cardinalservices.org or call Kevin Planck, KABS General Manager at 574-371-1410.