Travel just became easier for some citizens of Harvey, Marion and McPherson counties, thanks to a grant awarded to Prairie View from the Kansas Department of Transportation.


Travel just became easier for some citizens of Harvey, Marion and McPherson counties, thanks to a grant awarded to Prairie View from the Kansas Department of Transportation.

The Job Access and Reverse Commute Program was established to address the unique transportation challenges faced by welfare recipients and low-income persons seeking to obtain and sustain employment.

The goal is to improve access to transportation services to employment and employment-related activities for welfare recipients and eligible low-income individuals.

Prairie View is the first organization in the region to be awarded this grant, which allowed for the purchase of a 2009 Dodge Mini Caravan and the hiring of driver Paul Minkevitch.

Services are offered through the Prairie View Community Support Vocational Program, directed by Chris Zuercher.

“As Prairie View has shifted to provide more employment services for persons with serious mental illness, we have experienced a higher demand for transportation for this population and their goals,” Zuercher said.

Because clients are often unable to transport themselves and must rely on others, he said people tend to accept employment at a location near home so it can be accessed by walking or bicycling.

“That has kept some people working at low-paying, part-time jobs,” he said.

The service area is a 30-mile radius of the city of Newton.

For hours of operation or to schedule transportation, call (316) 303-JARC (5272).

All reservations are made on a first-call, first-serve basis.

A 24-hour notification is required.