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April 13, 2015

Legislators Approve Funds for Call N Ride Program

OSWEGO - The Oswego County Legislature unanimously accepted a $15,948 New York State grant Thursday evening to continue to provide transportation services for seniors who don't have access to public transportation.

With the Oswego County Office for the Aging (OFA) providing funds from a grant from New York State Office for the Aging, Community Services for the Elderly, those age 60 and older can now ride for free. The funding from the state Office for the Aging will help pay for the Call N Ride program provided by Oswego County Opportunities (OCO) and administered by the county Office for the Aging. In a related resolution, legislators approved a contract with OCO to provide the service to eligible residents for $1,329 per month from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016.

The resolutions were sponsored by Legislator Shane Broadwell, District 17, Oswego, chairman of the Legislature's Human Services Committee, at the April 9 meeting of the County Legislature.

Residents age 60 and over who don't have private transportation, aren't eligible for Medicaid transportation , and who don't live on a public transportation route, are eligible for the door-to-door service.

"Call N Ride is designed to help elderly and disabled people who might otherwise fall through the cracks," said Legislator Broadwell. "The program provides curb-to-curb transportation services for those who don't have access to a designated bus route. Transportation can be to doctor appointments, shopping, and social engagements."

Legislator James Karasek, District 22, Granby, also spoke in favor of the resolution. "Oswego County is unique in that it's one of the few counties in the state to offer this service," said Legislator Karasek. "Call N Ride serves a great need and helps a vulnerable population remain independent in their homes."

There is no cost to the senior. Contributions are accepted to help with program costs.

"One of the most frequently asked questions about services from OFA is regarding transportation," said Sara Sunday, Aging Services Administrator for the Office for the Aging. "Many of our client population no longer have the ability to drive. They rely upon family, friends and neighbors to get to doctor appointments and to shopping centers. OFA is happy that additional funding was made available through the New York State Office for the Aging Community Services for the Elderly grant to be able to help support the Call N Ride program."

Sunday said the Community Services for the Elderly grant requires a 25 percent local match. OCO will supply matching funds with grant money received from Exelon Energy. OCO will provide monthly reports on ridership to the county Office for the Aging.

Those in need of transportation from Call N Ride can call 598-1514 or 1-877-484-3287 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Reservations need to be made three days in advance.



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