Lexington Leaders Hear Of Plan To Offer Free Bus Service For Homeless

Jun 20, 2018

Credit Stu Johnson

Beginning later this summer, many of Lexington’s homeless will be able to access free public transportation for a year.  The new program called upLIFT aims at increasing self-sufficiency.

Polly Ruddick oversees the city’s efforts to address homelessness.

She told the city council Tuesday that access to Lextran reduces barriers to employment, childcare, healthcare, and housing.  She says participants must be living in a shelter or transitional housing and  working with a case manager on a plan for a permanent home.

“An individual just can’t walk into their case manager’s office and say ‘I’m going to go get a job today.  I’m going to go do this today.’  It has to be realistic,” said Ruddick.

Ruddick says about 1,500 upLIFT cards could be given out. The program is expected to cost the city about $9,000 per year.  Council member Kathy Plomin got the idea for the program after seeing University of Kentucky students use a similar card for LexTran service.