WARSAW — In this day and age, going to the grocery store or keeping an appointment typically means getting into the car and driving to the appropriate destination.
For many Kosciusko County residents, however, getting around is not that simple. Those who do not drive often have to rely on others who may not always be available.
This is where organizations like Kosciusko Area Bus Services comes in. Starting at $1 per ride, county residents can schedule a lift to their appointments, the store or wherever else they may need to go.
“It’s a nice feeling to be able to help people with challenges in their lives,” KABS Transportation General Manager Robert Cunningham said.
Drivers are required to have a passenger vehicle endorsement on their driver’s license. This ensures riders are in good hands.
While KABS maintains several vehicles, rides are first come, first served. Those wishing to schedule a ride are asked to call at least 24 hours in advance, though the more notice given the better. Callers are also asked to give a 15-minute leeway to allow for traffic and other delays. For example, Cunningham said, if an appointment is set for 3 p.m., give a desired arrival time of 2:45 p.m.
“We tend to be full during the busy hours,” he said.
Riders also need to be ready when their ride arrives. Drivers usually give 3 minutes and, if the person does not show up, will move on to their next appointment.
Prices are curb-to-curb and are $1 one way for stops within a 10-mile radius of the starting point, $2 one way for 11-25 miles and $3 one way for destinations farther than 25 miles. Types of rides include pre-scheduled trips, standing reservations for regular riders and same-day services. There is an extra $4 fee for those who need a same-day ride.
KABS is also Medicaid approved and can transport to medical appointments statewide.
KABS began in the 1980s when Cardinal Services, then known as Cardinal Center, began offering transportation services to its clients. However, they soon expanded those services to the general public, making it available to anyone who needed a ride.
KABS rides are available 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those wishing to schedule a ride can call (574) 267-4990. Further information is available on the KABS website or via the organization’s Facebook page.