The KCTS Story
Kimball County launched a public transportation service in March of 1975. During our humble beginning, the “Dial a Ride” system operated on a limited schedule utilizing one bus and one driver, providing nearly 7,000 rides inside Kimball County.
Starting in 2017, KCTS saw the creation of the first regional transportation option by going out of the county to the nearest activity centers of Scottsbluff and Sidney. At this time, KCTS also started taking non-emergency medical transportation, including Medicaid riders This change improved access to specialty medical services, provided an efficient way to get to and from appointments, and assisted those who had been transported by ambulance to get back home.
The following year, KCTS developed a groundbreaking plan to expand services across state lines to Cheyenne, WY and Fort Collins, Loveland and Denver, CO. The expansion also included transit services to the Nebraska counties of Deuel, Keith and Lincoln. In Deuel County, KCTS assists in maintaining public transit services by providing staff, vehicles and management of service. KCTS’ inter-county partnerships and coordination, along with the expansion of our service area connects Panhandle residents and visitors to critical services.
Our vision for quality regional transportation led to multiple improvements within our organization. The County’s acquisition of downtown Kimball real estate led to the renovation and development of the current Transit Office. The construction project was completed during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and directed one million dollars in federal funding to the community. During this time, KCTS also implemented new software to streamline scheduling, and improve the efficiency and accuracy of our processes. The pursuit of our vision in this manner has led to stellar rider experiences, and growth across our services.
The need for expanded public transportation in the region shows no signs of slowing down. To meet ever increasing demand, the organization has implemented a new intercity route providing airport service covering over 200 miles to Denver International Airport and Western Nebraska Regional Airport. KCTS has also created several regional routes for increased connectivity between the area’s villages, rural activity centers, and the larger metro region of Denver. New routes are also on the way, including a route to Cheyenne, Wy, and a route connecting directly to the area’s hospitals. A new micro-transit checkpoint service is also being planned to account for local population growth.
KCTS ridership continues to grow with the increase in transit services and renewed economic activity in the Panhandle region. Our drivers head out daily to provide service to Kimball County residents, and our greater service area. Whether it’s delivering meals in Kimball or Chappell, transporting our riders to work, school, or medical appointments, or providing rides across our multiple routes, we embody the KCTS mission: To drive rural communities in the right direction, and improve quality of life through regional connectivity. Through its services, KCTS has encouraged local spending, provided access to services that incentivize our youth to stay rural, and has allowed our seniors the freedom to age at home. At the end of the day, from point A to B, we’re headed your direction.