Rides for seniors: GDRTA partners with others under new grant program

Miami Valley News

(WDTN Photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Three regional transit providers are collaborating to provide seniors and disabled persons with rides to essential appointments.

Greene CATS Public Transit, Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority and Miami County Public Transit are partnering under a new grant-funded program set to launch this fall, the GDRTA said.

“One of the most critical needs we heard from our area seniors at a recent public hearing was the need for direct door-to-door service for medical, pharmacy and even grocery trips,” said GDRTA CEO Robert Ruzinsky. “They indicated that seniors are not always able to access the big bus fixed-route services, and not all seniors qualify for the paratransit services RTA offers to provide access door-to-door.”

Miami County Public Transit and Greene CATS do currently offer door-to-door service, but this funding will allow them to improve options for seniors needing medical-related transportation, The GDRTA said in a release.  Meanwhile, GDRTA will begin offering door-to-door transportation for medical appointments and grocery trips to seniors who would not qualify for the agency’s paratransit service.

This grant, awarded by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, will allow all three local transit systems to provide medical trips across county lines—an issue that has been a challenge for seniors who rely on public transit, the GDRTA said.

“In many cases, Miami County residents need specialized medical services in Dayton or even at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base hospital,” said Miami County Public Transit Transportation Manager Sarah Baker. “Being able to coordinate with our regional public transit partners will make it easier for seniors to receive the required care.

The three agencies will each handle their own in-county trips and coordinate efforts when passengers require a medical trip across county lines. The GDRTA said these services will cover scheduled, non-emergency medical appointments and services.

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