scat 40th 2015

PHOTO: County and State officials celebrate the 40th Anniversary of SCAT at an event held on Sept. 25 in Freehold, NJ.

More than 10 million trips to residents in 40 years

FREEHOLD, NJ – Today, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders celebrated four decades of service to residents by announcing that the County’s Special Citizens Area Transportation (SCAT) service has been honored with the 2015 Outstanding System of the Year Award from the New Jersey Council on Special Transportation.

“Every day, between 900 and 1,200 senior citizens and individuals with disabilities receive services through Monmouth County’s unique SCAT program,” said Freeholder John P. Curley, liaison to SCAT. “This transportation service is a vital lifeline that helps thousands of Monmouth County residents take care of their daily needs and stay connected with their communities.”

SCAT began in 1975 as a simple shopping service for senior citizens. Today, trips range from life-sustaining kidney dialysis, chemo therapy treatments, doctor’s appointments and nutrition sites, to food shopping and recreation.

Additionally, SCAT provides service to Monmouth County Veterans with daily trips to the VA clinic in Tinton Falls, as well as trips to the Veterans hospitals in Wall, Brick, East Orange and Lyons several times a month.

“We also provide daily service to 127 ARC clients, which allows them to attend sheltered workshops and enjoy the companionship of friends,” said Kathleen Lodato, Director of the County’s Division of Transportation.

The benefit of Monmouth County’s SCAT program is that it is an affordable, personalized service for individuals who are unable to drive themselves because of physical limitations or for any County resident 60 years of age or older.

SCAT is a paratransit transportation service program operating as a deviated, fixed route service with limited door to door availability. Each day, SCAT bus drivers are supplied with a schedule of appointments generated by service requests from clients.

“Many of our clients can wait in the comfort of their home, doctor’s office or other location for the SCAT bus to arrive at an appointment time,” said Lodato. “Clients greet and board the SCAT bus at an outside location at both the departure and return trip locations.”

“This award recognizes the outstanding service to the public by the entire SCAT team,” said Curley. “The entire Freeholder Board appreciates and thanks our current and past employees for their diligence and compassion in providing this service for the past 40 years.”

SCAT employees provide a great level of quality service to clients, from qualifying clients for service and booking appointments to the last pick-up and drop off from a dialysis treatment, the SCAT employees make sure that clients are provided with the assistance they need and are treated with dignity.

In its earlier years, SCAT had a fleet of two vehicles. The need has grown to a fleet of 58 vehicles.

“The demand continues to grow,” said Lodato. “SCAT’s intake employees process and accommodate more than 100 calls from residents a day.”

In addition to its core mission, SCAT also assists with other important transportation needs in Monmouth County: SCAT busses are available to evacuate residents in an emergency. SCAT busses and drivers were deployed during Superstorm Sandy to evacuate residents from coastal areas.

SCAT operations are directed by the Federal Transit Administration and the State’s Casino Revenue Act. The delivery of services is subject to County approval and in concurrence with NJ Transit and Monmouth County’s Senior and Disabled Transportation Advisory committees. The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders sets the County budget annually, but relies on casino revenues to fund the SCAT program.

The Monmouth County Division of Transportation is part of the County’s Department of Human Services.

For more information about the Monmouth County Division of Transportation, call 732-431-6480 or log onto www.VisitMonmouth.com