SCM Elder Bus Offers Expanded Transportation Services Thanks to Federal Transit Grant
South Central Massachusetts Elderbus (SCM Elderbus) has been providing curb-to-curb transportation for seniors (age 60 and over) as well as those with disabilities in 21 South Central Massachusetts communities for the last 39 years.
Recently the non-profit paratransit company, under contract with the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) to provide transportation to the elderly and disabled in South Central Massachusetts, was awarded a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant under the New Freedom Transit Program administered by the FTA. This funding has enabled the organization to offer enhanced non-emergency medical transportation services to eligible residents of the communities serviced by the SCM Elderbus.
The new grant will allow the organization to offer more frequent transportation options for out-of-town medical appointments, allowing communities this service three times per week, as opposed to the previously offered twice per week basis. It is specifically for people with disabilities and goes above and beyond ADA requirements; however, eligible senior residents (60 years of age and older), may also utilize the service.
“The most stated concern voiced by our clients over the past several years pertains to out-of-town medical transportation options, particularly to major medical facilities in Worcester. This grant will allow us to directly address those concerns,” said SCM Elderbus Executive Director Timothy O’Day.
“The addition of a mid-day trip into Worcester will greatly aid people with disabilities and elders to access medical appointments without requiring them to have to wait hours for a return trip. This will be particularly important for medical trips that involve treatment that fatigues the client,” said Transportation Planning Manager MaryEllen Blunt, of the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC).
SCM Elderbus not only provides transportation for medical appointments, it also provides general transportation services for eligible clients to access work-related transportation, grocery shopping, trips to area malls and retail establishments, hairdresser appointments, and trips to the local senior center.
SCM Elderbus is based on Charlton and services the towns of Barre, Brimfield, Brookfield, East Brookfield, North Brookfield, West Brookfield, Charlton, Douglas, Dudley, Holland, New Braintree, Oakham, Princeton, Rutland, Southbridge, Spencer, Sturbridge, Sutton, Wales, Warren and Webster.
Reservations must be made with SCM Elderbus two business days in advance of required service. Call 800-321-0243 for additional information or to request a ride.