NEAT system is meeting transportation needs
North East Arkansas Transit (NEAT) started operations in October offering transportation services in six counties providing affordable rates to residents in Mississippi, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Poinsett, and St. Francis Counties. The program was launched by Crowley's Ridge Development Council to meet the needs of Northeast Arkansas residents.
The service which is available to all rural areas was funded with a grant from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.
Kera Crafton, chief operating officer for Crowley's Ridge Development Council and North East Arkansas Transit, said the service is off to a good start.
"We are pleased with the numbers and we are seeing an increase," Crafton said. "There is a need for the service. Individuals may not have a way to the doctor, grocery store, school, or even work. The service is open to all ages and there are no income guidelines. It helps people remain self-sufficient."
Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. For fares or to schedule transportation call 1-866-336-3691 or (870) 932-0836.
"We ask for 24 hour advance scheduling to ensure transportation because we do not want people late for appointments, but if the same day service is available we will try to work with them," Crafton said. "We encourage anyone to call about fares or ask about different destinations. We want to provide a service. We have several individuals who use our service to and from college and vo-tech schools. Trips with starting and ending points in the same town are $2 one way."
Again, Crafton said the service is open to all ages.
Some people are comfortable driving in their own towns, but do not like to drive in the larger cities with more traffic. NEAT can be a good solution to their needs.
A sample of the fees include: Caraway to Jonesboro, $16 round trip; Lake City to Jonesboro, $14 round trip; Monette to Jonesboro, $18 round trip; Manila to Blytheville, $14 round trip.
The system can be used for multiple stops in the same city.
Fare schedules are also available online at http://www.crdcnea.com/view/north-east-arkansas-transit-neat.
"We are pleased to be able to offer this service and hope it meets the needs of residents in rural northeast Arkansas," Crafton said.