NORFOLK, NE—During a special event on Thursday, January 13th in Norfolk, North Fork Area Transit announced the creation of a new ‘Youth Ride Free’ program as a direct result of a generous $25,000 donation from Healthy Blue Nebraska.
“As part of Healthy Blue’s longstanding commitment to improving the health of our communities, we are addressing the complex and interconnected factors—like transportation, food, housing, social and financial circumstances—that shape health,” said Dr. Rob Rhodes, Healthy Blue Nebraska Interim President. “Healthy Blue remains committed to addressing these factors as we continue to engage alongside organizations and other partners with innovative programs and resources for the Norfolk community.”
The ‘Youth Ride Free’ program will include existing service on a first-come, first serve basis and the new flexroute bus service called ‘ForkLift’ starting this spring. The bus will provide rides along three routes with almost 100 bus stops throughout the community. In addition, curbside service can be requested on a first-come, first serve basis by anyone who lives within three-quarters of a mile from any of the marked stops. Forklift will operate six days a week and Sundays by appointment.
Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning stated, “From what we’ve already experienced, transit options for families getting children to and from school is a huge, unmet need in the community. North Fork Area Transit, with the generous support of Healthy Blue Nebraska, will now be able to continue and expand upon this important service, adding great benefit to the lives of many Norfolk families and improving the student experience.”
Parents should note that children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult with the following exceptions for children age four or older:
• As part of agency to agency transportation, such as from the YMCA to a public or parochial school.
• The parent/guardian provides supervision for the child at both the pick-up and drop-off destinations.
• The child rides dedicated K-12 student transit service for home to school or school to home.
“Youth riders are one of our biggest areas of growth. Parents are discovering how North Fork Area Transit is able to provide convenient and safe transportation for their children. We are thrilled to be able to partner with Healthy Blue Nebraska to provide this service to our community,” said Jeanne Doerneman, North Fork Area Transit Manager.