Rockbridge Area Transportation System

 

When was your organization founded and what is its mission statement?

1995. RATS is a charitable organization that prides itself on providing safe, reliable, professional low-cost transportation. The mission of RATS is “to provide safe and affordable transportation for residents of Buena Vista, Lexington and Rockbridge County who are elderly, have special needs, or have no other means of transportation.”

Who is your director?

Elizabeth LaRock. 

What programs and services does your organization offer and to whom are they offered?

Everyone residing in Rockbridge County is eligible for RATS transportation services. Our programs and services focus on providing door-to-door, non-emergency, demand-response rides to health-care providers in and beyond the Rockbridge County area. RATS private pay fares are based on a sliding scale that reflects riders’ ability to pay for the service. The vast majority of our clients cannot pay enough to cover the full cost of the ride. Most of them can only pay the lowest sliding scale price, which covers less than 60% of the cost of providing the trip. Our fare deficit is covered by contributions and grants that enable us to keep fares low. 

Please list any available statistics demonstrating your organization’s recent successes:

Last FY July 2014 to June 2015 RATS provided 17,280 trips comprising of 3,940 wheelchair rides and 13,340 ambulatory rides, the fleet of 15 vehicles traveled 340,753 miles.

Please list any community partnerships:
Rockbridge Area Health Center (RAHC) and RATS have a voucher system for rides to the health center and to referrals out of town.
 
Why is working for this organization important to you?

Because of the very important work that we provide to this very small and rural community. Many community programs would not have participants unless we provided the transportation for their daily attendance, such as The Magnolia Center and Eagles Nest.

What is your favorite memory of working with this organization?

It is always fun watching how much the drivers enjoy their job. They have a lot of stories that they share, including episodes on the road they have encountered over the years, and the combination is a unifying experience for both our drivers and clients.