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Retired Bellevue teacher starts transportation service addressing need for seniors

Posted at 9:14 PM, Dec 27, 2023

BELLEVUE, (Neb.) KMTV — After more than 30 years as a teacher for Bellevue Public Schools Katie Herbert traded the classroom for her car and started ‘My Ol’ Friend’, a transportation service.

“When I retired I knew that I would need a little more,” She said. “We did a little brainstorming and came up with the idea to do a senior citizen rideshare.”

Her business takes senior citizens wherever they need to go. Pam Kouba’s mother who lives with Alzheimer's was one of Herbert’s first clients.

“She was able to get her to go outside, get some fresh air,” Kouba said. “A couple of times she just took her shopping for a little bit.”

Herbert said her service is needed for people in this age group.

“I knew it was an issue in this area but after a little research I realized it was an issue for many people,” She said.

Maureen Kowker is another one of Herbert’s clients she said herbert can take her places other transportation services can’t.

“They don’t go far,” Kowker said. “I go for my legs to 90th and Blondo, they don’t go there…Katie will.”

Kowker said without Herbert she’d have to consider moving out of her home.

According to the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging, affordability and availability are some of the main challenges when it comes to finding transportation services for seniors.

They have a list of other transportation options in our area.

While Herbert knows there’s a market for her services, she’s not hitting the gas pedal on expanding just yet

“I started it because I wanted to help some people,” Herbert said. “Right now I'm just taking it one day at a time.

Herbert’s service is appointment based and appointments cannot be made same day.