<font color=red>Web Extra:</font> Utah partners with company to transport seniors

Posted on March 24, 2010

[IMAGE]SeniorsOutAbout-Ribbon-CuttingFULL-2.jpg[/IMAGE] Utah’s Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG) Division of Adult and Aging Services and American Fork, Utah-based Seniors Out and About have teamed up to provide transportation for senior citizens in the Provo-Orem area.

Launched in January, the Seniors Out and About transportation service picks up seniors at their homes and takes them anywhere in the Provo-Orem area on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Seniors pay an $8 one-way fare for the service, and the rest is covered by the state. Discount deals are available, including a monthly pass at $50.

In 2008, Wasatch Transportation Inc., the parent company of Seniors Out and About, responded to a Request for Proposal, put out by the Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services, for a pilot transportation service for seniors in the Provo and Orem area. 

”[Wasatch] wanted to branch out into the senior market and do senior transportation, but didn’t really have a vehicle to do that,” explained Steve Fuller, CEO, Seniors Out and About.

Scott McBeth, director, MAG aging department, said that the MAG organizes programs that help seniors remain healthy and independent and access to transportation is a crucial element of people remaining independent.

“There’s a great need for more and better transportation. So we’ve been interested for a long time and have been looking at different ways to get involved,” McBeth added.

Programs like the pilot Seniors Out and About are needed in the area, McBeth said, because not all seniors qualify for local transit or paratransit programs. “It doesn’t work for seniors, to get to the bus stop, to wait in the weather, whether it’s hot cold or raining, and then transferring perhaps multiple times. The amount of effort that takes doesn’t work for seniors. That’s why alternative transit systems are needed.”

In August, 2009, the Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services agreed to provide $150,000 in start-up funding for the program, including money for market research. “[We had] to demonstrate a need, which was easy to do, since there are a lot of seniors out there that don’t have transportation, don’t qualify for UTA [paratransit], and still can’t drive and have to rely on family or friends,” Fuller said. Seniors Out and About began market research, bus acquisition and driver training in August and started operating the service the third week in January. “It’s been slowly building, with seniors finding out about us, via word of mouth and brochures," added Fuller.

The program currently consists of two StarTrans vehicles, both with wheelchair access. So far, nearly 50 seniors have been able to take advantage of the program. Seniors Out and About also recently partnered with (MAG) to offer round trip rides to approximately 70 of the agency’s Meals on Wheels customers.

The company is planning to use GPS routing and RFID technology to reduce office, fuel and driver labor costs and to keep the service efficient. “If somebody calls and we have a route already scheduled for the day we can just add that on the fly," said Fuller. "We know where our buses and people are at any given moment, so if there is a problem on a bus, we can pinpoint its location and direct medical personnel or whomever directly to the bus.”

The pilot program is expanding to other areas in Utah County and may expand to cover all of Utah County by the end of 2010.




View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

FTA issues guidance on how transit agencies can implement ADA

To enhance understanding of the Act, the new circular offers a user-friendly, one-stop resource on its requirements.

CTED workshop to focus on ADA requirements, small bus inspections

The course is instructed by Halsey King, a well renowned speaker and writer on maintenance and technology issues, that includes repair, inspection and management of vehicle fleets.

S.D. council softening stance against raising paratransit fares

The about-face came just six days after an internal audit of the city's public transportation system was released to the council. In it is a recommendation to raise paratransit rates to $2.50 a ride from the $2 fee riders have paid since 1996.

AC Transit, BART celebrates ADA's 25th anniversary, new paratransit office

Since the ADA’s signing in 1990, AC Transit and BART have worked to ensure disabled residents are able to enjoy the many benefits of public transportation. The two agencies joined together in 1994 to form the East Bay Paratransit Consortium.

Chicago Pace's draft budget includes paratransit shortfall

A paratransit fare increase may be proposed to fill the gap; however, Pace Executive Director T.J. Ross acknowledged it would be very difficult for those riders to absorb.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 truck Fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close