OATS, Inc., was named the 2016 Rural Community Transportation System of the Year by the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) at its annual Awards Banquet, held this year in Portland, OR, on May 25. The system was recognized for its efforts in improving service to its passengers and serving the community.

The award, presented annually at the Association’s national EXPO, recognizes excellence by rural transit systems in serving the needs of people in their communities. Association Board Regional Director Bill Osborne – a fellow Missourian – in presenting the award, said, “there have been few recipients of our Rural System of the Year award that are more commonly associated with the heart of the community transportation movement than this year’s winner. Serving 87 – yes 87 – of their state’s 144 counties, this agency’s purpose is simple: ensuring everyone has access to transportation.”

Osborne noted “that from serving children in Head Start Programs, taking meals to home-bound older persons, providing paratransit services in large urban regions and demand-response options in the most isolated rural areas, this system truly does it all.”

OATS Executive Director Dorothy Yeager accepted the award on behalf of the organization’s board of directors and 700 employees. “This award has great meaning for us,” said Yeager. “CTAA represents the best in community transportation nationwide and to be recognized by them is truly an honor.”

The Community Transportation Association, established in 1989, is a national non-profit, membership association committed to removing barriers to isolation and improving mobility for all people.  The Association provides informational resources, technical assistance, training and certification, and many additional resources to communities, transportation providers and other groups to increase mobility and improve the quality of community and public transportation.

OATS, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation providing specialized transportation for thousands of Missourians, including the rural general public, senior citizens and people with disabilities in 87 Missouri counties.  Founded in 1971, this year marks OATS’ 45th anniversary of fulfilling its mission which is to provide reliable transportation for transportation disadvantaged Missourians so they can live independently in their own communities. Find out more about OATS on our website at www.oatstransit.org, or like us at Facebook.com/oatstransit.