NEVADA, MO. --- One of these books filled with coupons helps On My Own users run errands
"Eight round trips because it takes a ticket to go and a ticket to come back," Jennnifer Gundy, On My Own Executive Director, says.
Gundy and other staff members at On My Own give them out to those who use their services.
"We have people who are set for that they have to meet income guidelines and be extremely low income," she says.
The booklets are part of the taxi coupon program. It's a transportation subsidy funded by the city of Nevada and the state of Missouri.
"It allows our local taxi service who also operates the city's disabled access van to provide subsidized or discounted transportation," JD Kehrman, city manager, says.
The general public pays four dollars for a ticket and those who are disabled or elderly get an additional subsidy and pay three dollars.
Despite declining ridership, the program still costs the city about $180,000 a year to operate.
"We can only ask modot for half of the sale of the coupons. If that funding declines or is frozen we face this defecit situation," Kehrman says.
To combat a potential deficit of $3,000 this year, a 50 cent increase on coupons is being proposed.
"When the coupon sales are reduced we have to match the amount of operating the program with the state," he says.
City leaders say the declining use is in part due to people choosing alternate transportation.
"Many of them are using their own judgment and using the OATS service which is free already."
Gundy says the proposed increase could mean consumers of On My Own may have to pay $8 more for a book, a total of $56.
"Look at your budget and just make sure, don't take a trip if you don't want to. Make sure if you're out and about that you're combining everything you can," Gundy says.
The next reading of the rate increase ordinance will be in early December. The city manager says it will likely be approved and go into effect next year. There hasn't been a rate increase for the service since 2009.