Out and About

Spirit of Kokomo Assists the Elderly and Disabled

Writer / Matt Keating
Photography Provided

Getting around Kokomo can sometimes be a challenge for seniors.

That’s where the Spirit of Kokomo comes to the rescue. It’s a transportation system in Kokomo for people over 60 years of age, or citizens of any age with qualifying disabilities. It transports clients to and from the Kokomo Senior Citizens Center.

“We can transport clients anywhere within our service area,” says Jan Basil, the City of Kokomo’s transit system supervisor. “We take them to the grocery stores, the park, the movies or even to visit friends at their homes.”

Applicants over the age of 60 are automatically approved.Spirit of Kokomo

“Applicants under the age of 60 must go through the application process that includes a seven-page application, with the last page being filled out by their health-care provider establishing a qualifying disability,” Basil says.

Basil notes that there are six new Spirit of Kokomo buses.

“In 2021 the Spirit of Kokomo received grant funding to purchase six new buses,” Basil says. “The grant covered 80% of the costs while the city covered the remaining 20%. These were Ford Elkhart Coach buses with capacity to seat seven passengers and two wheelchairs. All Spirit of Kokomo buses are ADA accessible.”

Basil adds that old vehicles are scheduled to be replaced after a useful life.

“Production time, however, for new buses is currently up to three years,” Basil says.

Basil is proud of the Spirit of Kokomo program.

“The drivers for the Spirit and the CityLine trolleys serve the most vulnerable citizens of our city – our elderly and our disabled,” Basil says. “This gives our clients the ability to keep their freedom no matter their circumstance.”

The Spirit of Kokomo riders enjoy the transportation program.

Spirit of Kokomo “I’ve had several clients tell us that they appreciate the fact that they can keep their independence without feeling like a burden to their families – especially our clients that are in wheelchairs,” Basil says. “Sometimes their families don’t have the vehicles capable of transporting their chairs. Our service allows them the ability to do their own shopping, go to appointments or even lunch with friends.”

The Spirit of Kokomo and CityLine Trolley continued to service citizens through every day of the pandemic.

“While several businesses either closed or reduced their services, our drivers continued to transport clients to and from their doctor appointments, dialysis and grocery stores,” Basil says. “We also collaborated with Area Five Agency and the senior building to deliver thousands of meals to citizens that were unable to get out. We have six dispatchers that take hundreds of calls per day scheduling trips and answering questions. We are still operating with less than an optimal amount of staff.”

The CityLine Trolley has five fixed routes with more than 250 stops. Services are available from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Spirit of Kokomo services are available from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday. The last pickup is at 6:30 p.m.

Next-day service scheduling is also available during administrative hours from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Spirit of Kokomo

“We are looking for people who would like to join our team,” Basil adds. “We are currently taking applications for drivers.”

Applications for the Spirit of Kokomo can be found at cityofkokomo.org, under the Transportation tab.


Comments 2

  1. Lori Shreve says:

    Need info on who to call for spirit bus

  2. sherry miller says:

    I was just checking on the status of my application also I spoke with a nurse and I asked her if she had sent you the information that you guys required and she said that she was needing a fax number so I assume nothing has been done but I would like to try to get this going if possible thank you.

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