Leonardtown, MD – June 21 marked a milestone for the St. Mary’s County Senior Rides Program as it celebrated 10 years of operation.
Senior Rides, a program within the Department of Aging & Human Services, provides older adults with door-to-door transportation to medical appointments, social engagements, shopping, and more. Adults 60 years of age or older, who are unable to utilize other public transportation options and lack reliable sources of transportation, are eligible to utilize the service. An application is required for all interested in participating in the program. Applications can be completed by phone, in-person or via mail.
Over the past 10 years, nearly 300 individuals have been served by Senior Rides. Volunteer drivers have made 4,000 trips, traveled approximately 263,000 miles and have put in over 13,000 hours. The first Senior Rides volunteer was documented on January 1, 2008. The first Senior Rides trip was made on March 14, 2008.
“It’s absolutely needed,” said Senior Rides Program Coordinator Julie Burch. Burch has been working with Senior Rides since December 2015. Prior to that, she provided transportation to her grandparents, taking them to medical and social appointments when needed. She is pleased to now coordinate similar services for others in the community.
“The Department of Aging & Human Services is proud to offer another transportation option for our county’s older adults,” said Lori Jennings-Harris, Department of Aging & Human Services Director. “Senior Rides Program volunteers are very dedicated to helping others. We are most appreciative of our Senior Rides Volunteers.”
Drivers benefits include mileage reimbursements, supplemental accident insurance, Driver Safety Training and volunteer recognition.
Once accepted into the program, riders are asked to make their requests for transportation at least three business days in advance for locations within the county and five business days for destinations out of county. Out of county rides are exclusively for medical reasons.
Due to the limitations of the program, transportation requests are limited to 4 per month per rider. Transportation requests are not a guarantee of service and can only be accommodated if a driver is available.
Those interested in learning more about the Senior Rides Program can visit www.stmarysmd.com/aging/transportation.asp or contact Julie Burch by email at Julie.Burch@stmarysmd.com or call 301-475-4200, ext. *1066.
Image courtesy of the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging and Human Services