Meet OATS, Inc. As a part of the Missouri Public Transit Association's efforts to promote our members and the services they provide in MO, we are launching a new series, MEET MPTA. Our first featured provider is OATS, Inc.
OATS, Inc., celebrating 45 years of service in MO, is a public transportation company serving the rural general public, seniors, and individuals with disabilities, plus agencies who contract for transportation services.
OATS, led by Executive Director and MPTA Vice President Dorothy Yeager, is headquartered in Columbia, MO, with seven regional offices and four satellite offices across the state. OATS, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation providing specialized transportation in 87 Missouri counties.
Its mission is to provide reliable transportation for transportation disadvantaged Missourians so they can live independently in their own communities.
Originally founded in 1971 by a group of individuals who saw a need for transportation, especially in rural areas, OATS has grown to be one of the largest and most unique systems of its kind in the country. As a public transportation provider, OATS buses traveled 14.8 million miles last year to serve residents in the Show-Me State. There are more than 32,000 people in Missouri who utilize the services of OATS. Last year, 1,594,584 one-way trips were provided.
OATS helps people get to work, doctor appointments, essential shopping, nutrition sites and other places people need to go. Work transportation represents 39% of the service provided, followed by medical and other needs.
In addition, OATS is a major employer in MO with more than 700 employees in both rural and urban areas of the state.
“Just last year we talked about how Missouri ranks 40th nationally when it comes to the annual per capita investment with only $0.50 per person being invested in transportation,” said Dorothy Yeager. “Now the 2013 numbers have been released and we are down to just $0.09 – not even a dime per person is spent on transportation,” added Yeager.
Oats will be celebrating its 45th Anniversary on September 28 this year.
For more on OATS, Inc.