MOUNT VERNON — Hillary Patterson
began her new job as administrator for MOTA on Dec 1.
Patterson said she is excited about her new job and is looking forward to making MOTA serve the county better than it ever has before.
Patterson comes from a business background, having worked at the Mansfield Correctional Institution as an account clerk and business administrator for nearly 23 years. She has an associate degree in business administration from North Central State College in Mansfield and a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from Ashland University in Ashland.
Patterson’s duties include accounts payable and receivable, arranging advertising, working on contracts for MOTA’s services, writing policies, supervising the operations managers and reporting to the board of directors. She also does the organization’s taxes. MOTA employs 44 staff members, including drivers, dispatchers, a mechanic and office personnel.
Patterson has had to deal with some changes early on, some negative, she said, but many positive.
“On Jan. 4, we had to cut back on our hours, unfortunately,” she said. “That was due to a lean budget, so we had to cut back. We didn’t want to lay anybody off, so we didn’t do that. We were happy about that. But we hope to resume our regular hours once we get past this kind of bumpy period that everybody is experiencing.
“We work with ODOT,” she said. “We get grants from them. The majority of our funding is through grants — federal, state and local.”
On the positive side, she said, there are some changes coming that will help improve service. Patterson said MOTA has 25 vehicles and will be getting eight more. Those will be arriving about February or March.
“We are really excited about that,” she said. “We have a couple that are down right now and need some money put into them, and we hope they make it to the delivery date for the new ones.
“Our goals are to make MOTA more recognizable and accessible,” she continued. “We specialize in handicap transportation. We have four sedans and once they are gone, every single MOTA vehicle will be handicap accessible. That’s a requirement by ODOT. We just want to get out there and let people know we are available, not just for certain things. If your car breaks down, you can call MOTA and we are available to anyone in Knox County. We want people to realize we are here and we can get them from point A to point B.”
Anybody can ride MOTA, said Patterson.
“If you are 65 or older or disabled, you can ride for half fare,” she said. “All you need to do is come in and fill out some paperwork. That’s what we do. We’re here to keep the community moving.”