The Eastern Missouri Transportation Coordinating Council (EMTCC) hosted a meeting Tuesday morning in Washington.

Deana Tucker Dothage, mobility director for MO Rides, presented information about the ride referral service as well as updated visitors on plans for the future.

The EMTCC is a voluntary council established to address the need for mobility management and transportation in a five-county region. Dothage said the vision of the EMTCC is to get people within the region where they want to go.

A large part of that goal is MO Rides. MO Rides is a referral service that coordinates affordable rides for people facing transportation challenges in Franklin, Warren, Lincoln, Montgomery and St. Charles counties.

Dothage connects people to existing transportation providers, such as OATS or other companies.

At Tuesday’s meeting she talked about the growth of MO Rides. She said a transportation data base has been built and a new web site, www.morides.org, was launched late last year.

The website helps visitors find services for rides, she said.

Since the site launched, Dothage said MO Rides has received 510 calls, 32 coming from Franklin County. Washington had seven calls with Union and St. Clair each having five falls.

The bulk of the calls, 195, have come from St. Charles County.

Of those 510 calls, Dothage said 93 got a ride from the service while 36 said they did not. Dothage said the primary reason people listed for not getting a ride was because the services were too expensive.

Dothage said the ride service is being used for a number of reasons, the most common being work or medical. Eight of the Franklin County respondents said they used MO Rides for medical reasons like getting to a doctor’s appointment.

Another service being added to the site is for car pools. Dothage said she hopes the program is operational within the year, but the goal is to hook potential drivers up with people who need rides.

She said the program is still in the early stages and needs more drivers.

Dothage also talked about other projects she’s working on. She said she’s been trying to find a way to get a car for the Warrenton office that can be rented out by the hour.

She also talked about attending recent conferences related to transportation.

Dothage said she used to hold quarterly meetings in Warrenton, but decided to switch up and have monthly meetings in the five counties covered by MO Rides. Tuesday’s meeting was the first in Franklin County.

The meeting was attended by Tom Sinclair, the new head of the Developmental Services of Franklin County.

The service is made possible largely from a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation. Dothage said MO Rides has received two grants and is funded through September 2018.