Making a critical service accessible

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We are pleased to see the aggressive efforts of Glen LaBar, the new director of Person Area Transportation Services, as he works to make the PATS system a vital community service.

LaBar has updated PATs routes. He has introduced new revenue streams. He has been responsive to clients’ needs.

All that effort serves to make an important public service a better, more efficient, more cost-effective service.

Time after time, in Person County and in other places, we’ve heard government officials describe the barrier that a lack of transportation can be for people trying to access services, of both the governmental and private enterprise variety.

People without transportation and without family close by struggle to see the doctor. They can’t get to public computer terminals at places like the library. They can’t get to the drugstore to get medicine.

PATS provides a low-cost (sometimes no-cost) service that will allow people to keep those appointments and access those community services.

Those who would like to see government spending curbed often point to programs like PATS as an obvious target for reductions or all-out elimination.

We argue that providing residents with this kind of transportation lessens the cost of care over the long-term and it makes for a healthier, more competitive population right at home.

LaBar would certainly deflect much of the credit for the improvements made at PATS in recent months, but it’s clear that he’s started his work with a clear vision for what he thinks PATS can become.

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