TRANSPORTATION ACCESS FOR NON-DRIVING SENIORS AND OTHERS WITH DISABILITIES

Many of us take for granted the ability to slide into our cars and drive ourselves to appointments, shopping excursions, or even Sunday services at Church of the Servant.  However, that is a level of independence that is not enjoyed by everyone. 

We have learned in the Care Ministry office about many members and their families who have to juggle schedules and responsibilities in order to get a ride to a bridge party, a hair appointment, or even to pick up prescriptions.  While Uber and Lyft are good choices for many, we have found three additional options for non-driving seniors and others who have disabilities.

For someone living near an existing city bus route, Embark Plus might be the answer.  Rides can be scheduled in specific areas for medical appointments and grocery shopping at a low cost, and senior discounts are available if age-eligible.

Having the latitude to schedule a driver in a personal vehicle might be your preference, and for that reason you might choose to join the Independent Transportation Network (ITN) or utilize the RSVP Provide-A-Ride service.  ITN delivers clients to almost any destination of their choice within the OKC metro area, and RSVP transports clients to medical appointments, including a pharmacy stop after that appointment.

Read more about all three in a side-by-side comparison by picking up a chart at the Welcome Center or view it HERE.

POTENTIAL VOLUNTEER DRIVERS

Church of the Servant has had a mission/volunteer mindset since its beginning 50 years ago, and a new opportunity is available for those who would enjoy an individual service option.  Drivers with good driving records are needed by two organizations, Independent Transportation Network (ITN) and RSVP Provide-A-Ride.

Both organizations connect seniors or those with disabilities to volunteer drivers who have even a half-day of available time each week, and both have waiting lists of those needing rides.  These ride options don’t offer a paycheck the way Uber and Lyft do, but they do offer the opportunity to get acquainted with interesting and appreciative people, all of whom have had a background check.  Many friendships have blossomed through the simple kindness of providing transportation for someone who no longer can drive.

Each organization provides additional liability insurance for the driver’s vehicle and allows mileage to be reimbursed or “banked” for future use.  Both are 501-C3 organizations, so if the volunteer chooses not to be reimbursed or to receive future rides, the miles driven can be submitted for tax purposes as a charitable deduction.

There is no cost involved in becoming a volunteer driver, but if you do sign up and begin driving, Church of the Servant is prepared to make a donation to the organization to help cover the cost of your background and driving record checks.  Please contact Susie Cobden or Camilla Riley at the church if you begin driving for either organization.

For more information, please request the “Volunteers Needed” flyer from the Welcome Center in the Concourse or view it HERE, and you will find a side-by-side comparison of how the process works for the two services.