Thursday, February 10, 2022

In-House Audit of Dual County Transportation Program:
Genesee-Orleans' Community Action phasing out CATS after audit reveals $250,000 loss while in public service

Community Action Buses are parked at 131 South 
Main St. in Albion. Community Action of Orleans
 and Genesee is phasing out its CATS program due
to increasing financial pressures and diminished 
ridership.
Community Action of Orleans and Genesee is seeking to reconfigure its transportation services after an in-depth audit found its CATS program lost about $250,000. CATS was Community Action’s transportation system. The buses were used to transport people to places such as medical appointments and other programs.

“When (Community Action officials) determined the depth of the losses, they began to investigate other ways fill those voids,” said communications consultant Arnie Rothschild. The agency has been in communications with the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority. Community Action is working on ways to put people on RGRTA buses to help them to get in and out of doors.

Community Action mentioned the following points on its website regarding the downsizing:
■ Buses are expensive to run, and require frequent and costly maintenance. Rates for rides stayed flat for many years while Community Action lost funding sources and costs continued to rise.
■ The COVID-19 pandemic reduced ridership to numbers that don’t support the cost of running buses. Buses which were once full now only have one to two riders.
■ When CATS started, there were no other transportation options available. Now there are transportation alternatives for many in need within the community.

There are still some CATS buses running in Genesee County; it’s a planned phase-out, but Community Action is looking for replacement vehicles.

“These are challenging times, but we will leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding ways to serve you better and more efficiently, and that is what we are doing,” said CEO Renee Hungerford in a press release. “I will, as information becomes available, keep you informed of our progress on all fronts to serve you and your family.”

While Community Action is seeking out solutions for CATS, people can use the following transportation organizations:
■ Veteran’s Transportation (585) 589-3219.
■ RTS Dial-A-Ride (585) 589-0707.
■ Office for the Aging (585) 589-3191.
■ Medina Transport Taxi (585) 798-9400.

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