Community Transportation Picnic held in Cape Girardeau

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – The Transportation Coalition, led by United Way of Southeast Missouri, held a Community Transportation Picnic on May 23.

It began at 5:30 p.m. at Capaha Park Shelter # 1 in Cape Girardeau.

“Income stability and health and transportation impacts all of those,” said Elizabeth Shelton, executive director of the United Way of Southeast Missouri. “So United Way helps meet immediately. We also have a 30 partner network and partners in the community that help us tackle big problems and big initiatives like transportation,”

Cape Girardeau County Transit Authority announced they have ordered new wheelchair vans and also five non-wheelchair vans. They are also hiring drivers.

Attendees enjoyed free hotdogs provided by the Cape Girardeau Transit Authority and learn about the transportation updates in store for the community.

In late 2021, UWSEMO conducted research to help guide volunteers on a Community Investment Committee as they identified funding needs for UWSEMO’s 2022-2025 funding cycle.

“Among employers, employees, and the many people served by the United Way network, transportation was identified as a barrier to all three of United Way’s focus areas – education, health, and income stability,” said Shelton. “Seeing an opportunity to address a major need in Southeast Missouri, we sought out transportation partners, community leaders, and social service organizations to form this Transportation Coalition.”

The Transportation Coalition is focusing first on needs in Cape Girardeau County where the Cape Girardeau Transit Authority (CTA) currently provides public transportation.

Later, solutions were explored for viability with leaders in other counties in the United Way service area.

Since its formation, the coalition has held a community meeting, conducted online, in-person, and print surveys, and provided a report of its findings. The group is now working to address transportation barriers in the community.

“When we held the community meeting in October at the Shawnee Park Center, we told the public we would update them as transportation improvements progressed,” said CTA Accounting Manager Kelley Watson. “Thanks to local funding through the United Way and participation from the City of Cape Girardeau we have some exciting news we can’t wait to share at our Community Transportation Picnic!”

The group also asked for the public to provide input as to where they would like to see different bus stops within the City of Cape Girardeau as well as other suggestions to improve the public experience with CTA’s fixed bus route.

Categories: News