More than just a ride: What to consider when you need transportation.

By Catherine Ciha, Senior Transportation Connection

 

After driving for many years, it’s difficult to rely on others to get around. You don’t have to quit going out, running errands and being independent when you no longer want to get behind the wheel.

Programs like nonprofit Senior Transportation Connection, city-sponsored ride programs and other options offer safe, comfortable solutions to get where you need to go: doctor’s appointments, senior center activities, grocery shopping and social outings. Here is information about how accessible, affordable transportation at STC and most other agencies works.

 

Your driver should be someone you can trust!

STC drivers learn to offer an arm to keep you steady, or properly secure a wheelchair in the vehicle. Like most agencies, STC conducts background checks and drug testing. Drivers take a safe driving course and CPR training so they are prepared for emergencies.

 

What is an “accessible” vehicle?

Organizations like STC use vehicles with a lift or a ramp. A wheelchair user remains seated to enter the vehicle safely, and then the chair is secured. Some low profile vehicles are easy to enter, with no big step up or down. Explain what you need and if you use a walker, cane or wheelchair so your needs will be met comfortably. Ask if your caregiver can come along to help you, as well.

 

Technology helps.

Modern dispatching technology ensures that the driver can help in an emergency immediately. We all run a little late sometimes, and if your plans change or your appointment runs overtime, contact the Call Center. They will find your driver and adjust the schedule.

 

Where to get help

Not every community uses Senior Transportation Connection for weekday services. To find out what transportation is available where you live, contact your community department on aging or your senior center staff. Most communities sponsor social outings such as restaurant meals or trips to the movies and entertainment that include transportation. Don’t miss out!

 

STC also offers an evening/weekend service after 4 pm weekdays and on weekends on a private pay basis to Cuyahoga County residents aged 60 or older, or with a disability that requires an accessible vehicle. To learn about STC Plus, including how to book a trip and the per mile rate, visit our website http://ridestc.org/how-to-enroll/current-service-providers/ or call (216) 265-1489. The website also lists the communities that participate in our weekday program.