New manager takes over transit program


When Joe Adray retired as the Highland Area Rural Transportation System (HARTS) mobility manager at the end of 2022, Chris Hetzel was selected to fill the role of coordinating public transit services in Highland County.

The transit program has changed its name from HARTS to Highland County Mobility Management.

Hetzel has lived in Highland County for more than 35 years and worked in the dispatch office of FRS Transportation before assuming the role of Highland County mobility manager.

“I look forward to working with local and state officials and all county transit providers in the effort to provide safe and affordable travel for all Highland County residents,” said Hetzel.

The majority of transit services for Highland County Mobility Management are provided through FRS Transportation, and some services are provided by the Highland County Community Action Organization, Inc. and private transportation providers. Individual fares for rides from FRS range from $1 to $3 dollars, and one-month passes for unlimited trips can be purchased for $20 or $30, depending on the distance.

Transportation services for medical-related trips are funded through Highland County Jobs and Family Services and Medicaid and can be made to locations throughout southern Ohio.

“One of my main goals is just to expand the knowledge that there is public transit here in Highland County and to let people know what services are available to them, not just on the medical side, but in public transit,” said Hetzel. “Our goal is to be the link between those who need transportation and the providers within our county that have transportation or offer transportation and get those people connected with them.”

Hetzel said he also aims to expand transportation services for Highland County and increase services for the elderly, disabled, low income workers, students and the disadvantaged.

“I want to get that knowledge out there and help expand the services, whether that be aid of the existing providers or helping them expand their business with statewide grants that will help them acquire more vehicles and staffing,” he said.

Information about public transit in Highland County can be found on Facebook under Highland Area Rural Transportation System.

“If there is anybody out there who needs transportation, needs help in finding transportation, or has questions about non-emergency medical transportation, I’m here to talk to and help them find what they need,” said Hetzel.

Hetzel can be reached at 937-403-0049 or by email at [email protected].

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

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