The brakes have been put on a local public transportation company.

The brakes have been put on a local public transportation company.
The Pittsburg Transportation Company halted services on Monday, the result of a suspension of payment from the Kansas Department of Transportation.
"We have temporarily suspended services because we have not received our reimbursement money from KDOT," said Mike Swartz, PTC's treasurer of the board and director of the company's day-to-day operations.
According to a news release, KDOT is responsible for administering Federal Transit Administration funds and, as part of that responsibility, performs regular on-site reviews of all transit providers. A recent review of the PTC "warranted a fiscal examination be conducted by an independent audit review."
"KDOT, as the request of the FTA, suspended all federal and state fund reimbursements to Pittsburg Transportation Company on Feb. 27 pending satisfactory completion of all actions recommended as part of the audit," according to the news release.
Further details regarding the review were not available at press time. Attempts to contact Joel Skelley, the KDOT spokesperson for this particular situation, were not successful. Chris Herrick, KDOT's director of planning and development, released a statement expressing the department's concern for local residents.
"We are concerned about the impact of this decision on Pittsburg area residents and want to resolve this unfortunate issue as quickly as possible," Herrick said.
According to Swartz, PTC provided transportation to 1,000 to 1,500 people each month. He said he understands if some of those residents are upset that services have been suspended, but he added that there isn't anything he can do about it.
"(KDOT) did their review but we haven't heard anything back from them," he said. "We're very concerned about this, but our hands are absolutely tied. We just could not continue running the service and create bills without having any way of paying the bills."
Swartz said PTC typically received $50,000 per year from KDOT. The company also had received funding from the United Way, however that payment also has been suspended until operations continue.
"Right now, we are just waiting to see what they find out," said Ronda Ison, United Way campaign director. "We do send checks to the agencies on a quarterly basis, and it's about time for that, but we can't send them funds if they're not operating."
Ison said she also has tried to contact KDOT to see where the PTC stands, but has not had much luck.
"I haven't been able to speak with anybody who has any information regarding the situation," she said. "So right now, everything is just kind of on hold. We're just waiting to hear what the results (of the review) are."
Swartz said the PTC operated much like a traditional cab service. It operated from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and provided rides to "anyone who needed one."
"We tried to prioritize the elderly," he said.
Because he's unsure of what the results of the review will be, he's also uncertain about the fate of the company.
"Whether or not we run the service anymore, I don't know," he said. "They may decide they don't want us to and give it to somebody else. Whatever happens, I'm sure the service will be in operation. I just don't know anymore than that."

Other transportation options
While the future of the PTC hangs in the balance, regular users of the service do have other transportation options.
Public transportation services are provided by CLASS LTD, Elm Acres Youth and Family Services and the Southeast Kansas Community Action Program. Sammy's Cab service also provides public transportation in Pittsburg and other Crawford County communities. Mt. Carmel Regional Medical Center provides medical transit in the area.
Steve Lohr, executive director of SEK-CAP, said he has heard recent rumors that the organization has ceased its transportation service, possibly a result of the PTC situation. However, those rumors are untrue, he said.
"We are going strong," Lohr said in a statement released Friday.