|Volume 13, Issue 7||
|From the LIFT paratransit service website|
The application process involves a few steps. An interested individual must complete an application, including professional verification of disability and abilities, and participate in an interview with an eligibility coordinator. The applicant will get a letter 21 days after the interview informing him or her of the outcome.
Once accepted, the person can call 503-962-8000 to schedule a ride. The scheduler asks for the caller’s home address and phone number, the destination address and number, and the date and time of the request. While requests must be made by 5 pm on the day before the ride, riders are encouraged to schedule with as much notice as possible. Each ride costs $2.50.
Ride Connection is a private nonprofit organization providing accessible transportation for seniors and those with disabilities. They are able to fulfill 85% of ride requests. If interested, call 226-0700, or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting connected is a simple, 20-minute phone call. Once registered, an applicant’s needs are assessed by a Transportation Options Counselor. The counselor then links the individual with whichever service best meets the need.
|Laura Bailey, from the Ride Connection Website|
Ride Connection offers three main programs. Through Door-to-Door Rides, an individual can schedule a ride anytime between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Both paid and volunteer drivers who have gone through driver training provide these rides. While there is no fee for rides, donations are gladly accepted. The rider needs to call at least four days before an appointment to place a request. Ride Connection calls back two days before the ride to confirm or deny the ride.
“They’re very helpful and resourceful,” says Veronica Landry, who is both a customer and volunteer with Ride Connection. “Drivers will even help carry groceries.” After being diagnosed with breast cancer last August, Landry discovered the Door-to-Door program. She didn’t have a car, and traveling on regular TriMet buses across town for medical visits and chemo treatments quickly became a challenge. Ride Connection helped her get comfortably to and from her appointments. When asked about her experience with Ride Connection, Landry shared, “It’s been wonderful. I love it, and the people are great to work with.”
Ride Connection’s RideWise Travel Training program offers instruction to qualified individuals on how to safely and independently use public transportation. Last year, 250 individuals were successfully trained.
Ride Together, their newest program, empowers riders to find their own drivers, and reimburses those drivers for their miles. Riders can then directly schedule their rides with their drivers at times most convenient for both parties.
With an ever-increasing number of older people in our community, transportation alternatives directly impact quality of life. In their article Psychology on the Road (psychologicalscience.org), Ann Conkle and Catherine West state that, “living independently requires access to transportation.” This key to independence must be maintained and expanded as Cedar Mill grows.
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