Last month, JTrans (Jackson County Transportation, Inc.) was named top in the state as the Rural Community Transportation Coordinator of the Year. The Florida Commission for the Transportation of the Disadvantaged bestowed the honor.
JTrans coordinates non-emergency transportation services for any Jackson County resident to any location, even outside of the state. This is not the first time JTrans has been recognized for the service. JTrans was recognized with the same award in 1989. This recognition is attributed to a dedicated staff.
"JTrans is known to go the extra mile in customer service", reads an excerpt from the award ceremony presentation. They feel compassion for their passenger’s needs and realize the obligation and necessity to perform at a high level."
The company provided some examples of above-and-beyond customer service provided by its employees. One driver volunteered to pick up meals for a dialysis patient who has no way to get them, for instance. Another driver accompanied a blind patient when he had numerous appointments at a medical facility and had no one to help him find his way around.
The program provides an average of 300 trips a day for non-emergency medical appointments throughout Florida and Alabama. JTrans has a total of 32 employees and 20 of them are drivers.
Some of their skills were witnessed back in April when two drivers placed in a state driving rodeo. JTrans driver Howard Jones placed first in the state in the small bus division and Chris Crosby placed second in state in the van division.
JTrans provides services on multiple levels, making transportation affordable for private payers as well as those who qualify for a small co-pay under Medicaid or Transportation Disadvantaged.
A one-way trip to Dothan could cost $6 for someone who qualifies as transportation disadvantaged. A trip to Panama City for that same person could cost $13.
The non-profit organization is on a $1.8 million operating budget, funded by Medicaid, Transportation Disadvantaged, the Florida Department of Transportation, City of Marianna, Jackson County Board of County Commissioners, Jackson County Senior Citizens, Office of Disability, Hospice and other private pay funds.
It is governed by a board of directors. The current members are: William Long, David Melvin, Linda Pforte, Bill Stevens, David Johnson, John Hamilton, Edward Hunt, Delois Bowers and Billy Padgett.
JTrans employees are: Sharon Peeler - Executive Director, Danny Skipper - Operations Mgr., William Hughes – Driver Representative, Renee’ Weathington, Kathy York, Lavelle Stevens, Michelle Gillette, Carlton Burns, John Stewart, Nathan Jones, Ralph Riley, Kettria Rivers, Marlene Alday, John Ballay, Johnny Bulzer, Naomi Collins, Carrie Crawford, Chris Crosby, Donald Curl, Kelly Elmore, Lester Furr, Robert Hobson, Flake Jeter, Howard Jones, Cathie Keith, William Keith, Karen McVan, Raleigh Menchion, Mary Smith, Sandra Smith, Rebecca Stephens and Dorothy Wilson.
To schedule transportation, call JTrans between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at 482-7433, or TDD at 482-6261.