New policies, safety plan for Polk transportation

Published 5:39 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2011

‘No show’ penalties among new rules
The Polk County Transportation Authority has a new safety plan and new passenger rules.
The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Monday, June 6 and approved the new transportation policies and procedures.
Transportation authority director Jewell Carswell told commissioners the safety program puts the transportation department in compliance with federal requirements.
The new policies and procedures include several vehicle and safety checklists, drug/alcohol and other employee policies and a new policy to help cut down on passenger no shows and excessive cancellations.
Carswell said her department is trying to cut down on excessive cancellations and incidents where drivers will go to pick-up a scheduled trip and residents no longer want the ride but did not cancel.
Under the new policy for passengers, riders can be suspended from using the service if they schedule a trip and then fail either to make that trip or to cancel it three times in a 60-day period.
Passengers who cancel a trip within 24 hours before its scheduled date could also have service suspended after three cancellations.
Commissioners commented on how valuable the transportation department is to Polk County residents. Carswell said the department need has increased greatly because of the economy.
Commissioners said transportation drivers may provide one of the few contacts with people some residents have. They also said drivers have often saved lives by finding residents in a medical emergency and getting help.

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