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Hancock County to update public transportation plan

Hancock Area Transportation Services, or HATS, faced criticism Tuesday for falling short of meeting the county’s public transportation needs.

HATS, operated by the Hancock Hardin Wyandot Putnam Community Action Commission, provides public transportation in Findlay and Hancock County for a low fare. Reservations are required.

One HATS user, Sharon Thompson, said the service has abandoned her at night several times without a ride.

“The office closes at 4:30 p.m., and after that, you can’t contact anyone. Last ride is 9 p.m., and I know that,” said Thompson.

Thompson, who suffers from night blindness, depends on the service to move around Findlay.

“We came from Fostoria, and you can walk around that town. Findlay is too big. This is not a walking town,” she said.

Hancock County is updating its public transportation plan. Tuesday’s meeting was the first planning session. It was held at the Family Center, 1800 N. Blanchard St., with representatives of several non-profits and a few community members attending.

The discussion focused on the county’s current plan, unmet needs, coordination efforts and the process for developing a new plan.

There were other complaints about HATS, including the lack of 24-hour service or on-demand service, but the non-profit workers seemed to agree that HATS gets all the criticism because it is the only service in town.

The group is working to gather information from the public. County residents, who utilize public transportation, employers and even taxi cab drivers, are asked to take the survey.

The survey is available at the Hancock Hardin Wyandot Putnam Community Action Commission’s website.

Additional information is available from Zach Kincade at 937-299-5007, or zkincade@rlsandassoc.com; or from Dave Salucci at the HHWP Community Action Commission at 419-423-3755, dsalucci@hhwpcac.com.

Interested people who are unable to attend may send comments to Kincade’s email address or to RLS & Associates, 3131 S. Dixie Highway, Suite 545, Dayton OH 45439.

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