MORGANTOWN — Mountain Line CEO Dave Bruffy said the transit authority didn’t initially know what to expect as a participant in the State Opioid Response Program, or SOR.
“We had no idea what that program was going to do. We’d only budgeted $15,000 in revenue and we actually brought in almost $130,000,” Bruffy recently told the transit board.
An initiative of the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration and the West Virginia Public Transportation Association, the program enlisted the state’s 18 transit systems to provide rides for individuals with opioid use disorder who are seeking treatment and recovery services.
The 2020-21 fiscal year, which ended June 30, was the first full year of SOR service for Mountain Line. All told, 3,230 trips were provided during the 2021 fiscal year, with 448 — a monthly high — provided in June.
Mountain Line is reimbursed for the rides through a memorandum of understanding with the WVPTA.
“We’re paid our fully allocated cost of $74.14 an hour and that is true even if it’s a no-show. So if we go and somebody has changed their mind, we don’t have to bear the cost of that,” Bruffy said.
While SOR riders can use regular bus route service, most are van rides from more remote areas without transportation services.
“Our goal, statewide, is to make sure that anybody who wants a trip from anywhere can get the help that they want. The state has really liked it. It’s been a successful program,” Bruffy said.
Rides must be scheduled in advance, which can be done by calling 1-888-696-6195.
Since the program’s inception, in March of 2020, Mountain Line has provided 3,272 trips.
A message left with the WVPTA seeking additional information about the program was not returned in time for this report.
Additional information is available at Mountain Line’s website, busride.org.