Christina Jimenez is the new director of transportation at Sunflower Diversified Services. She will play an instrumental role in seeing the new transportation facility come to life.
Sunflower Diversified Services recently announced the promotion of Christina Jimenez to director of transportation.
Jimenez is using her background in Sunflower’s General Public Transportation (GPT) program to oversee all ride scheduling and vehicle maintenance, while ensuring compliance with Kansas Department of Transportation regulations.
“We currently run a crew of 11 KDOT drivers for our public transportation service,” Jimenez said. “This service is for everyone. Anyone who needs a ride to work, the grocery store or a medical appointment is encouraged to call on us. We’ll take you anywhere you need to be.”
Jimenez started working at Sunflower, which supports people with special needs, six years ago.
“I love coming to work,” Jimenez commented. “Sunflower is such a great organization for people with developmental disabilities and delays. Even if you are not having your best day, clients cheer you up. They greet you with a smile and are engaged in their work and other activities.”
In addition to her day-to-day responsibilities, Jimenez has begun preliminary work on what will become a brand-new transportation facility.
“This adds a whole new dimension to the job,” Jimenez noted. “It is exciting for all of us because it will afford even more opportunities to clients and the public to get to where they need to be.
“Some people simply don’t have access to transportation,” she added. “They rely on us and we are happy to serve.”
A ride costs $1, or $2 for a round trip throughout Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties.
The new facility will be located just south of Westside Market and The UPS Store in the 5500 block of 10th. A $1.2 million KDOT grant is making it possible.
“This is a convenient location and gives us the capacity to house 14-16 vans and buses,” Jimenez commented.
The facility also will be home to Jimenez’ office, dispatchers, a meeting room, locker room and waiting area. The new wash bay will provide jobs for clients at Sunflower.
Jimenez is collaborating with Shelby Zuniga, Sunflower interim executive director, on this special project.
“We are fortunate to have Christina at the helm, especially during this time of change and growth,” Zuniga said. “She has always been an asset to Sunflower and her knowledge of the transportation department is invaluable.”
Sunflower is advertising a Request for Qualifications for an architect for the 17,600-square-foot facility; submissions are due May 26. KDOT is helping with the ads, which are being published in area media and on Sunflower’s Facebook page.
Bids from local contractors will be encouraged at the appropriate time.
“We are so grateful to KDOT for making this happen,” Zuniga said. “The new building will allow Sunflower to grow its transportation services, while protecting our vehicle fleet from the elements and vandalism. This will extend the life of the vehicles.
“General Public Transportation is a vital service that is available to all residents of our service area. We know it is the primary means of transportation for many people and we take this responsibility very seriously.”
Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. It is in its 57th year.