A local nonprofit organization received a $1.5 million grant from the County of San Diego to provide free rides for low-income seniors throughout the region.
The funds were granted to the Jewish Family Services of San Diego to launch the San Diego County Senior Transportation Program in partnership with the County of San Diego Health And Services Agency, and LiveWell San Diego. The program will be operated through Jewish Family Services’ “On the Go”, which remains the county’s largest senior transportation service.
“The program provides seniors from low-income communities with free rides to medical appointments, social gatherings, and anywhere else they'd like to go! We aim to improve the lives of our seniors one ride at a time," says Tina Nguyen, Community Outreach Coordinator at On the Go in a press release.
Seniors enrolled in the program may call On the Go to speak with a live agent to schedule their rides. Agents take special care to assign a suitable car for the rider, noting any mobility restrictions.
"We've found that our seniors really appreciate the fact that when they call On the Go to schedule a ride they get to talk to a real person who cares about their well being," says Nguyen.
According to the nonprofit, On the Go agents communicate with riders in multiple languages, including Spanish and Vietnamese.
“Reliable, affordable transportation can make all the difference between seniors staying in their homes or ending up in a hospital or care facility, and we are excited at the opportunity to make our transportation services more accessible than ever before, through the program," said the nonprofit’s CEO Michael Hopkins.
Participants of the new program must be at least 60 years of age, have the ability to get in and out of a car on their own, and have a household income that is at or below 30% of the county’s Area Median Income:
- For one-person households, up to $27,350
- For two-person households, $31,250
- For three-person households, $35,150, and
- For four-person households, $39,050
Communities to be served include zip codes: 91901, 91910, 91911, 91915, 91945, 91950, 91977, 92004, 92020, 92027, 92058, 92070, 92081, 92083, 92084, 92102, 92105, 92110, 92113, 92114, 92139, 92154, 92173
Seniors or their caregivers can call “On the Go” seven days a week at 855-638-2279 from 5 a.m. through 9 p.m. to request free rides once they are enrolled. According to the website, each eligible rider will receive up to 80 miles worth of free rides each month.
For more information, visit https://otgrides.org/sd-enrollment or call 858-637-3210.