WARSAW — Kosciusko Area Bus Service, a Medicaid-approved program of Cardinal Services, has been providing reliable, affordable alternative transportation for county residents since 1981.
But even after 38 years of service, 59,000 trips a year — “we’re on course to top 60,000 this year,” said Amanda Landis, KAB’s general manager — 230 trips a day and more than a quarter-million service miles annually, some misconceptions about the public service persist.
“One of the biggest misconceptions is that we are only open to individuals with some disability or those who are elderly,” said Landis. “I’m afraid some people aren’t utilizing us because they don’t think they can. But our service is open to anybody as long the ride originates in Kosciusko County and the destination is in Kosciusko County as well.”
The one exception is Medicaid-sponsored statewide transportation to qualified medical appointments.
“Others think we run like a taxi service, but we are a demand response service for public transportation,” she said. “The reason we require a 24-hour notice is so we have time to build our routes for the next business day.”
KABS maintains a fleet of 10 12- to 16-passenger buses and two four-passenger vans — all handicap accessible — that is available in three ways, according to www.cardinalservices.org/services/kabs:
• Pre-scheduled trips, available by calling (574) 267-4990 or emailing [email protected] 24 hours in advance of travel time to make a reservation. A “same day fee” of $5 will be added to the fare for reservations called in less than 24 hours before the scheduled ride.
• Standing reservations, where the rider is picked up each day the service is needed. No phone call is required except to cancel the service.
• Same-day service. “If you can’t call a day in advance, KABS will still do its best to meet your transportation needs.”
For a very modest fee, patrons can board the bus and relax during their trips to work, shopping and medical appointments.
The curb-to-curb service covers all of Kosciusko County.
One-way costs are:
• $1 for trips of up to 10 miles
• $2 for trips of 11 to 25 miles
• $3 for 26 miles or more.
The costs of statewide transportation are paid through the state’s Medicaid program.
“We will explain and help out those who call us,” said Landis. “The state changed the rule last year and now a broker handles the payment, but we walk the passengers through the process.”
Passengers with hearing challenges can access TTY services through Relay Indiana by calling (800) 743-3333 and providing them with the KABS office number, (574) 267-4990, or toll-free number, (866) 953-4490. The Relay Indiana staff will then translate the conversation using TTY technology.
A $5 fee will be imposed for no-shows or rides not properly canceled at least one hour in advance.
For all rides, correct change is required. Tickets or tokens may be purchased between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at KABS headquarters, 1804 E. Winona Ave., Warsaw.
The vehicles run from 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“We are currently looking for a full-time driver,” Landis said. “Interested persons are welcome to apply at www.cardinalservices.org or by calling Alex Miller, the Cardinal recruiter, at (574) 371-1333.”