NORFOLK, NE—North Fork Area Transit is celebrating reaching its local fundraising goal of $500,000, which will also bring in a matching gift from the Johnny Carson Foundation of $500,000. The one million dollars raised will enable the transit agency to pay off past debts, hire drivers and get vehicles back on the road. The Johnny Carson Foundation will be issuing a check for the match immediately to assist with an expedited return to service.
“We are so grateful to our community and the Johnny Carson Foundation. The impressive show of support for public transit will make a lasting impact on many. Thank you to each and every donor who made our reopening possible,” stated Lacy Kimes, Transit Board Vice President.
Thanks to an outpouring of local support, the Transit Board has been able to raise $500,000 in just four short weeks. “There is no way we would have been able to get up and running again without the generosity and tenacity of our community. It would have been easy to give up, but the Board and members of the community wouldn’t let that happen. We’ve all seen how our community is a better place with public transportation,” shared Traci Jeffrey, Board Chair.
The State Mobility Management Team will provide a lead role in making immediate preparations to restart service with priority to the most vulnerable in the community. Services available will include TeleLift schedule ahead rides, and the ForkLift bus will be reintroduced with a more targeted approach. Service will focus on the most used routes and times that riders appreciated most.
The transit board has been expanded to include four new members including Jan Einspahr, local attorney; Rob Merrill, former Norfolk City Council member and small business owner; Chuck Waite, co-owner/manager of Graham Tire; Dr. Gordon Adams, retired MD and Norfolk businessman; and Justin Webb, current Norfolk City Councilman, pending approval by City Council. Additional safeguards that have been implemented by the board will continue, such as the hiring of a local accounting firm to handle all bookkeeping operations.
When available, information regarding reopening can be found at northforkareatransit.com.