Ritz on BCSSI

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Sue Ritz

“You helped my mother stay independent.”  “I love being able to call and set up transportation to my doctor’s appointments.”  “The drivers are so friendly and help me get into the car.”  “I just needed to get out of the house.  Thanks for taking me to WalMart.”

These are just a few of the comments we hear every day at the agency.  Transportation is one of life’s essential elements.  Giving up the family’s car keys is not an easy decision.  I know when my car is in the repair shop and I am “stuck” so to speak at home or the office without wheels, there is always something I need to get at the store or some place I want to go for lunch.

We are so lucky in Boone County to have public transportation!  AND it’s not just for senior citizens.  Boone Area Transit System is operated by Boone County Senior Services, Inc.  Transportation was the first program in 1978 and BCSSI provided 125 trips.  Last year we took 1,396 different people on 23,839 trips.  Twenty percent (20%) were provided to Zionsville residents.  BCSSI began with 1 driver and 1 personal vehicle.  Now we have 19 drivers and 18 agency owned vehicles of which 15 are wheelchair accessible vans.  Recently we have been providing approximately 110 trips a day.  Since we are a door-to-door, demand response system, we must take reservations.  Some of our neighboring counties request a 2 week notice.  We try to accommodate transportation requests the day before if we have had cancellations, but sometimes we have to deny service since we are at capacity.  Our service is on a first come first served basis.

Where do we transport individuals?  All passengers may be taken to any place in Boone County—work, doctor appointments, dentist, grocery, hair salon, shopping, restaurant, or to visit a friend or loved one.  My mother loved to be taken to the Friendly Tavern and then to see her friend, Martha.  She looked forward to those trips.  Older adults and the disabled may be taken to surrounding counties and there are vouchers which can be purchased through CICOA-Aging & In-Home Solutions.  Medicaid recipients may be taken to medical appointments outside the county as well.

What is the cost?  Older adults can make donations.  We do have suggested fee schedules available.  Those under 60 are “public” and are charged a fee to ride—either $3.00 or $5.00 each way in Boone County.  Medicaid passengers are assessed a fee of $1.00 each way per Medicaid regulations.

How do I schedule a ride?  Call (317) 873-8939 or (765) 482-5220 Monday to Friday between the hours of 7:30 AM—4:30 PM.Ask for Transportation and give them you first and last name, exact address and phone number of pick-up location, exact address and phone number of your destination, name of physician (if applicable), appointment date and time, If you need a wheelchair lift to board the vehicle, birth date, purpose of trip, Medicaid number (if applicable) and any other important information.  Pick up times are scheduled so you can arrive at or before your specific appointment time.

BCSSI is here for you, your neighbors and friends.  Please don’t hesitate to email or call me at sritz@booneseniors.org or 317-873-8939.  Or you can find us on the web at www.booneseniors.org

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