By Samantha Anderson
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
8:13 PM CST, January 3, 2013
Patients of the Salina-Saline County Health Department are getting some help getting to their appointments.
Recently, the health department qas forced to relocate because of roof problems. Many of the services were moved to North Salina near Elm and North Street, about three blocks away from the nearest bus stop.
"A lot of our clients have little children and walking in the street with little children puts them in danger," Del Myers, health education supervisor of the health department said. "Some of our clients health is not great. Other people there health is great, they just don't have access to transportation."
Some public transportation users just found other places to go, like Bobbie Cole. "I use the Salina family because the bus stop is right there," Cole said. "If they had one closer to the health department I'd go there more often."
The city, county, an OCCK Transportation Services have worked together to come up with an alternative plan--a shuttle that will run from the 7th and Walnut depot to the health department.
OCCK says it will support the costs and there won't be an additional fee for people who use the shuttle.
"We are willing to do it because we like to give things back to the community and we know how important transportation is," Patrick Wallerius, vice president chief financial officer with OCCK said.
Wallerius said that they are a non-profit organization and they get a lot of support from KDOT and the city of Salina.
It wasn't an easy problem to fix, however.
"We can't deviate from any of those routes to go two blocks out of our way," Wallerius said "That's five or seven minutes and that would put the whole system behind schedule."
Finally, OCCK officials decided to use an addition shuttle and that should give citizens the support they need.
"I depend on the buses," Cole said. "It's my way of transportation."
The shuttle will run from nine o'clock until three o'clock. It will leave the depot on the hour and depart from the health department 50 minutes after the hour.
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