Looking for a ride to a medical appointment, a hair appointment, to the Dickinson, Bismarck or Rapid City airport, or maybe a trip for shopping, and you need transportation?
By Sheldon Christenson | For The Record
Looking for a ride to a medical appointment, a hair appointment, to the Dickinson, Bismarck or Rapid City airport, or maybe a trip for shopping, and you need transportation? If you are not aware, Southwest Public Transport is there for you at a reasonable cost. They can also do tours to places like Medora or Spearfish Canyon.
Southwest was founded in 1987 and is a private non-profit agency administered by a Management Board that consists of directors from each county. They are partly subsidized by federal and state grants and serve people living in the four counties of Adams, Slope, Bowman and Hettinger.
Originally established to assist the elderly, it was changed in 1996 and opened its services to the general public as a quality of life issue. Chanell Walby is the director and headquartered in Bowman. She has been the director since Jan. 2013. Their scheduling policy is first-come, first-served with in-town trips and appointments the priorities. They recommend to call and make an appointment as soon as possible to schedule a ride as they are often booked weeks in advance.
Walby stated that she enjoys the job satisfaction in helping those in need. Cheryle Urlacher is a driver who operates out of New England and also the chief scheduler. She too enjoys the job because it is a great service to the four counties.
It also allows those who need transportation the independence of not having to interrupt the schedules of relatives, friends or neighbors to drive them. Urlacher has been with Southwest for 22 years and was the Southwest driver of the year in 2004.
They have an older fleet of vehicles but are receiving two new vans hopefully this March, one for Bowman and the other for Hettinger. It also looks like they may be getting a veteran’s van that will allow free rides for veterans to their medical appointments.
For questions or rate information call 701-523-3241 or email at email@example.com.