Gaston DHHS taking leadership over County ACCESS
Jul 09, 2014
GASTONIA — Effective July 1, the Gaston County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) assumed management of the County ACCESS Department, which provides cost-efficient transportation options for public and human service transportation. County Commissioners mandated the change after a study committee recommended this transition.
Chris Dobbins, DHHS Director, said, “This is an example of another way we can improve the delivery of services to Gaston citizens. I look forward to working with the outstanding staff at ACCESS to improve public access to transportation services.”
Gaston County ACCESS has 28 employees and has been meeting the transportation needs of county residents since 1981. Cheree Wilson, Transportation Coordinator with ACCESS said, “I’m excited about the opportunities from this transition. We’re looking forward to enhancing and improving our service to the citizens of Gaston County.”
Cheree Wilson, Transportation Coordinator
816 W. Mauney St .
Gastonia, NC 28052
It is the mission of Gaston County ACCESS Central Transportation to enhance the quality of life for the citizens and of Gaston County by providing timely, cost efficient, high quality, general public and human service transportation.
ACCESS is the transportation "clearinghouse" for the Gaston County human service agencies. ACCESS identifies and arranges the most efficient and economical transportation services for all requests. ACCESS directly provides the needed transportation unless the requests are far more than the department can handle. If this is the case, the department makes the arrangements with outside private providers who can handle the requests, such as private transport services or other public transit providers.
In 1981 the Board of County Commissioners created the department of Central Transportation for the primary purpose of maximizing the use of existing transportation resources to provide economical transportation services for Human Service Agencies and secondly to provide economical transportation services for the general public. Since that time the department has been renamed as ACCESS.
This agency attains its purpose by acting as the Gaston County transportation clearinghouse, that being to identify and secure the most economical transportation service for any request. In some cases the Department provides the service directly; in other cases, the Department refers the request to a more economical provider, i.e. Gastonia mass transit lines, private interstate bus lines and local taxis.
When the service is provided by the Department, payment is expected at the time the transportation service is rendered, unless an account arrangement is made for monthly billing.
The Access Division provides seven basic transportation services:
- Subscription Routes- Daily van service to and from the same destination;
- Demand Response- Individual service for one-time scheduled trips, i.e., medical appointments, service agencies, etc.;
For more information regarding the types of services and the rates, contact the Access at 704-866-3206.
To meet the increasing transportation needs in Gaston County. We will continue our subscription route and demand response transportation services. To improve our efficiency by acquiring new technology, and expand our capacity and availability by improving our dial-a-ride system and increasing our general public transportation by utilizing a fleet of lift equipped vehicles, and small, lift equipped cutaway transit vehicles operating deviated, fixed routes.
- To improve route efficiency by utilizing technological resources and improving routing.
- To coordinate with the human service agencies more closely and assist with eligibility and placement of customers requiring non-medical general transportation or wheelchair transportation to reduce costs to the customer and improve overall revenue for the County.
- To maintain the accuracy and timeless of billing and revenue functions.
- To receive at least a satisfactory rating on 85% on customer feedback surveys, customer service cards, and quality improvement telephone contacts.
- To maintain reliable fleet condition.
- To increase the number of passengers served by optimizing the schedule and routes.