Rural isolation in unincorporated areas of counties makes it financially and geographically difficult for urban and suburban transit to provide needed door to door pick up when it is 7 miles or further to the rural location from the edge of the urban or suburban setting where services are available. Nonprofits can provide the dead end trips that allow rural isolated seniors and adults with disabilities who are unable to drive to reach destinations that let them access the services they so badly need in order to remain in their homes. Nonprofit transportation programs need to be included in the funding and regulations of the Access Plans. Whether providing 1,000 trips a year or 20,000 trips a year, there are basic needs for any nonprofit transportation service: (a) a director and a (b) scheduling software.. Competitive block grants available for nonprofits serving unincorporated areas with transport (one person or shared rides) should be available within every state's transportation plan. Regulations need to be unique as many nonprofit transportation programs use volunteer drivers using their own vehicles. But isolated seniors and adults with disabilities can get to life sustaining medical services such as dialysis and adults with disabilities can get to work sites in neighboring. communities. Ride shares and taxis frequently cost more than $40 one-way. Dialysis 3 x a week at $80 per round trip is $240 per week. Seniors on fixed incomes or adults on disabilities and not on medicaid cannot afford profit services. Make the destination to a job 5X a week, it is $400 a week private, for profit cars. When we speak of access to transit, we need to remember the isolated, rural individual to whom transportation is a unique, singular ride and the willingness of nonprofits to fill the needs, they just need a little help. Attached is a brochure from one such nonprofit serving the rural areas of a fire protection district in Colorado.
Idea No. 281