Statistics & News
funds from grants
Two grants totaling almost half a million dollars will improve operations at Fulton County Transit Authority immensely.
FCTA received a $248,000 5339 Capital Grant for FY 21-22 to replace four cutaway 12/2 passenger vehicles.
“Replacing the four vehicles definitely helps keep our fleet operational,” explained FCTA Executive Director Kenney Etherton when announcing the grants. “We need to replace three to five cutaways a year to keep a healthy fleet.”
The new vehicles will be utilized in Fulton, Hickman, Graves and Carlisle counties, the areas where FCTA primarily and proudly serves.
The 5339 Capital Grant is 80% federally funded. Etherton stated that will the dissolution of the toll credit program, FCTA will have to produce 20% of the grant monies.
Gov. Andy Beshear recently announced the other funds awarded to FCTA through the CARES Act.
“We’re excited about the Governor’s announcement of $198,150 under capital funding in the CARES Act,” Etherton said Friday morning. “This funding will update FCTA’s technology which will include a server, tablets and replacement of a 30- year-old phone system.”
In addition to enhancing communication between the FCTA base and all Transit vehicles in the field, the tablets will push out training programs for better social distancing. Etherton also said the new phone system will finally tie all of the three FCTA offices together.
“All of the new technology not only improves our operations during COVID-19 and similar events, but will allow employees to work from home easier and better during inclement weather times. Especially the scheduling department to prevent them from having to get out and risk their lives coming to the office,” Etherton said.
With the new server, Etherton said that will allow FCTA to do away with several pieces of equipment and envelope it all into one unit. Providing the electronic tablets to FCTA drivers will give them access to information more quickly and efficiently and do away with reams and reams of paperwork they receive on a daily basis.
According to Etherton, FCTA leaders have learned during COVID-19 the importance of being able to work from home and found some of the weaknesses within the agency’s operations to improve upon.
“This money not only allows us to fix our operational weaknesses, it helps us to be better at what we do overall,” Etherton said.
Other funds within the CARES Act award will allow FCTA to better protect office staff in replacing and improving air changing units, replacing old carpeted with newer vinyl and tile flooring.
“The new flooring will help us to keep our buildings cleaner and free of germs and viruses,” Etherton said.
The funds will also provide some needed security glass within the FCTA office buildings.
“The CARES Act funding steps our game up with technology and is something we have needed for a long time,” Etherton said. “It’s kind of a dream come true.”
Rachel Cook, a graduate of Fulton City High School, is now Lead Dispatcher at Fulton County Transit Authority.
Effective August 2, Rachel Cook assumed the responsibilities of Lead Dispatcher at Fulton County Transit Authority.
“With her experience and knowledge of Fulton County Transit, we are excited about her accepting the responsibilities of Lead Dispatcher,” said FCTA Executive Director Kenney Etherton. “She will definitely be an asset at this job by utilizing her excellent problem solving, communication and people skills.”
Cook, the daughter of Teresa Decker and a graduate of Fulton City High School, is also the wife of Brandon Cook. They have a son, Noah.
“I am very grateful to be given the opportunity to grow and build a career here at FCTA,” Cook said.
Please wear masks
FCTA RESPECTFULLY REQUESTS all riders of any FCTA vehicle to have a mask or facial covering on before boarding any FCTA vehicle.
This is for the safety of yourself, other riders, and FCTA staff and to comply with the Executive Order of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
It is FCTA's goal to protect all riders and to protect the FCTA staff from the COVID-19 virus.
Amtrak will design, build local station
“I can literally see the light at the end of the tunnel,” exclaimed Kenney Etherton after receiving word that a long-awaited community project is finally coming into fruition.
Several years ago, the Fulton County Transit Authority Executive Director took over leadership for the local efforts to construct a new Amtrak station to replace the current one that needed too many repairs. Now the project is becoming a reality.
“We are excited that we are working on an agreement with Amtrak to design and construct a new station,” Etherton revealed. “Amtrak will be bearing the costs of design and construction of the station at its current location”
Fulton City Manager Mike Gunn knows a partnership of any kind with Amtrak is a positive for the area.
“Whether it’s a new station or enhanced services, we are truly proud to have been a part of this project with Amtrak to raise the bar for rail traveling visitors to the City of Fulton,” Gunn said. “This station enhancement will be something that improves their customers’ experiences and should bring in traveling visitors to our community which helps drive the region’s economy.”
Etherton also believes the new station will make an invaluable impact on the community.
“It will be, without a doubt, a much-needed improvement in our community and make it a more attractive place for people to get off the train in Fulton,” Etherton added.
Jeff Campbell, a Fulton native and owner of The Meadows Hotel, has worked on the project and is thrilled it will soon be heading toward the construction stage.
“I am so very pleased to welcome the news that Amtrak has committed to enter into an agreement to build a new passenger train station in Fulton,” Campbell said. “Funding and architectural plans are scheduled for 2021 with construction targeting in 2022.”
Since one of the local fundraisers for the new station involved a permanent structure at the site, Etherton said he has requested that a space be made for the engraved bricks that display names of former and retired IC, CN and Amtrak employees.
“We have asked Amtrak that, in the design phase, space is set aside for the engraved bricks,” Etherton explained. “Amtrak has asked us to use local funds that were donated for signage for station and beautification, lighting, and landscaping.”
Campbell recognized those supporting the station efforts who remained on target to achieve the goal.
“My congratulations to Kenney Etherton and the Fulton County Transit team for their persistence in pushing this to completion after a four-year journey too long,” said Campbell. “All local funds raised, along with the memorial bricks, will be incorporated into the project.”
According to Etherton, tenacity was the key for this project.
“It has been, without a doubt, one of the most frustrating projects I’ve ever worked on,” he explained. “Patience and diligence have prevailed.”
PITCHING IN - Executive Director Kenney Etherton (pictured) and Human Resources/Safety Manager Paul Maxwell helped spruce up the grounds on the agency's property by mowing the lawn recently. During the recent COVID-19 Pandemic, FCTA employees have not uttered the phrase "that's not my job," but have instead joined together as a team to keep the Transit service "coming and going your way." FCTA began extended service hours for Demand Response to 6 p.m. Those needing a ride throughout the four-county area served by FCTA - Fulton, Hickman, Graves or Carlisle counties - or other areas should call 270-472-0662, Extension 1 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday to reserve Demand Response transportation. FCTA has also resumed its Amtrak service. All trips to the Amtrak station in Fulton must be scheduled by calling 270-472-0662, Extension 1. FCTA is currently not running the regular Amtrak schedule.
From the desk of the FCTA Executive Director
April 20, 2020
I want to take just a minute and say thanks to many in our local community. I have seen many disasters in my 36 years of public service career in this community, but never anything like the COVID-19 crisis. This Pandemic has changed our lives in ways no other disaster or crisis most of us have ever lived through.
As with any crisis, we have people in every community that step up and hit home runs. The Police, Fire, EMS Staff, Health Care Workers, Emergency Management and Local Leaders do an amazing job in any crisis or emergency. During this Pandemic, we have seen grocery store employees, truck drivers, delivery drivers, post office staff, food service workers and retail businesses, to just name a few, do an amazing job to serve our community. We have seen Teachers, School Leaders, Parents and Students make some incredibly unique education changes.
I want to take just a minute and say THANKS to the staff at Fulton County Transit. We have an extremely limited staff dunning this Pandemic, but they have unselfishly still preformed Life Sustaining trips, Senior Citizens Meal Delivery, pharmacy trips, grocery store trips and getting people to essential jobs in the four Counties we serve. They still get up before the sun comes up and get people to dialysis and cancer treatment with a smile behind the mask they have on during this Pandemic.
We have had many of the employees that we have had to lay off call and check on our clients and wanting to be at work taking care of the clients we serve. I can truly add a hash tag to a group of people proudly serving our community. #teamfctatransit !! Thanks for what you all do every day!!
Thanks to everyone working to serve our community.
Kenney M. Etherton
Fulton County Transit
TEAMWORK - This graphic, provided by Purchase Area Regional Transit, offers various statistics and testimonials from Murray-Calloway County Transit, Paducah Area Transit System and Fulton County Transit Authority. Read the graphic carefully to learn more about each agency and how they work together to provide transportation for those in the Purchase Area.