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Commissioners approve CPTA increase

JACKSON – Rates for medical transportation through CPTA will once again increase slightly after a new contract was approved by the Northampton County Board of Commissioners here at their regular meeting on May 4.

The county’s Department of Social Services often uses Choanoke Public Transportation Authority (CPTA) to help citizens attend medical appointments and dialysis treatment. DSS Director Shelia Evans presented this year’s contract with CPTA for the board’s consideration.

She noted there was an increase of $3.83 for medical and dialysis trips, bringing the total for a one-way trip up to $17.27 when the contract goes into effect on July 1.

According to the contract, the costs for out-of-county medical trips and Work First van transportation had also increased. The out-of-county trips are now $4.32 higher than the previous year, while the Work First transport rate increased by $1.53.

“We’ve been working with them since 1993,” Evans explained, also pointing out the rates typically increased every two years.

Commissioner Geneva Faulkner, one of three commissioners speaking by telephone during the meeting due to current social distancing procedures, mentioned that there had been other transportation providers in the past who have served county citizens as well.

“I’m just asking if they’re here again this year,” Faulkner said, noting that she preferred the commissioners to be able to consider multiple options when approving contracts.

Evans explained that the two other transportation companies were not considered this year because one was not licensed to operate in the state and the other had tripled their rates.

“The county would not be able to afford them,” Evans said.

Board Chair Charles Tyner briefly praised CPTA for the services they continue to provide for local citizens.

“They do great work in our county. We’re just glad to have them,” he said.

With no further discussion on the matter, Commissioner Kelvin Edwards motioned to approve the contract, and Faulkner provided a second. The vote was unanimously in favor.

The new contract with CPTA begins on July 1 and will span a one-year period ending June 30, 2021.