One of our latest nominees is in the Small Corporate category, and is located in Northwest Arkansas.
The management team at Ozark Regional Transit in Springdale has one goal, making transportation available for anyone who needs it.
“And without a public transit option, it really makes it more difficult to keep within your budget if you’re on the lower end of the socio-economic scale,” says Phil Pumphrey with Ozark Regional Transit.
Pumphrey is the non-profit's general manager.
“Originally was founded over 30 years ago for people with disabilities and seniors, providing them with access to health care, shopping, groceries. We started implementing fixed routes, we started the first one in 2002, and we’re up to about 12 routes now,” says Pumphrey.
O.R.T. looks for ways to serve Northwest Arkansas, such as providing free transportation for patients to the Arkansas Mission of Mercy Dental Clinic.
“I talked to the mayor and asked him what can I do for parking for these people? How can I get them from point “A” to Arkansas Mission of Mercy point “B” so we can get them to the Convention Center. He said “Call Phil Pumphrey. Call him. As soon as I did, smooth as silk,” recalls dentist Dr. Dwight Duckworth.
“I was the new mayor when the big ice storm hit and Phil and his folks did such a great job of donating time and being there sometimes in the wee hours of the morning to shuttle Springdale people from homes where they’d lost their power and didn't have any heat to our Senior Citizens’ Center where our shelter was,” recalls Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse.
“I have a staff member who found a grant for a battered women’s shelter that got them passes to ride the bus to the tune of 9-thousand dollars for the year,” says Pumphrey.
“Even though we are not on a designated route at this time, if we do have someone who needs transportation they do go out of their way to make sure we get the battered women’s shelter transportation we need,” says Maria Thompson-McSperitt with the shelter.
For Phil Pumphrey and Ozark Regional Transit, transportation is a means to an end.
“Looking for opportunities to serve the community,” says Phil.