Senior Transportation Program Launches in West Columbia

By December 19, 2017Good News

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (December 19, 2017) – Leaders representing the City of West Columbia and Lexington County held a press conference today to announce the launch of Senior Rides of Lexington, a 501-c project that will address the unmet need for senior citizens who desire to live independently – transportation.

“The announcement today of the launch of Senior Rides is outstanding,” said Senator Nikki Setzler. “Our seniors are a critical part of our community and contribute so much. Senior rides will meet a tremendous need of our seniors and is a shining example of city and county government working together with the private sector to meet the needs of our citizens.”

The demand for transportation options for seniors continues to outpace the resources available. Providing another transportation option for seniors will allow seniors to age in place while receiving access to appropriate and needed services. Senior Rides will recruit volunteer drivers that will be available to provide curb-to-curb transportation services to senior adults who need transportation to medical appointments and shopping for essential needs like groceries and pharmacy prescriptions. The program will begin in the City of West Columbia during the first quarter of 2018 with plans to expand transportation services to the Cayce and Springdale communities later in 2018. The long-term goal is to offer the transportation service throughout Lexington County.

Bill Dukes, Chairman of Senior Rides of Lexington SC said, “This initiative recognizes that transportation needs for many senior citizens who want to continue living independently have been underserved for too long – and that need will only become more acute as our population continues to age. Many seniors in our region need safe, reliable transportation to medical appointments, the grocery store, pharmacies, or other critical needs – and our goal is to provide
that service with respect and dignity and lots of TLC.”

Dukes added, “Creative programs like Senior Rides, that can be replicated and scalable, may be one of the answers to help bridge the current gap between demand and available funding across the state.”

With the need identified, the organization was established on April 24, 2017, as a charitable Public Benefit Corporation in South Carolina. Through the support of volunteers and local governments, the organization will help enhance the independent living choices of Lexington County’s senior adults – and offer homebound seniors in the community the opportunity to maintain their independence.

Services will be available to residents who are 60-years or older regardless of creed, sex, origin, and veteran status. The organization will provide personal-vehicle transportation assistance and will not seek Medicaid, Medicare, or other insurance reimbursement for the service provided.

“This is about more than just giving a ride,” said City of West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton. “This is about the ride, the conversations, and the friendships that are formed along the way. We look forward to the continuation and growth of this critical service.”

To volunteer, make a financial contribution, or for more information, contact Senior Rides of Lexington at 803.582.8826.

Pictured below: Left to Right – Cayce Mayor Elise Partin, SC Senator Nikki Setzler, Governor Henry McMaster, West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton, Chairman of Senior Rides of Lexington Bill Dukes, SC House Representative Micah Caskey, Springdale Mayor Michael Bishop, West Columbia Councilman Mike Green, West Columbia Councilman Jimmy Brooks, West Columbia Councilman Trevor Bedell

Pictured below: Governor Henry McMaster speaking at the Senior Rides of Lexington.

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About the City of West Columbia
The City of West Columbia is situated along eight miles of the beautiful lower Saluda and Congaree Rivers. Known for being friendly, welcoming and affordable, the city also has top-level schools and a myriad of dining and shopping options, as well as exemplary health care options that are within a three-mile radius. The area is ideal for commerce, thanks to its business-friendly attitude, low taxes and utility rates. The City is concentrating on economic development and is eager to attract business start-ups and/or relocations. Additionally, major interstates, highways, the airport, and Columbia are just minutes away. When it comes to recreation, West Columbia offers kayaking, canoeing, tubing, parks, water-front concerts, 8.5 miles of walking and biking trails, and much more, including access to the renowned Riverbanks Zoo, Botanical Gardens, and Waterfall Junction. More information is available at www.westcolumbiasc.gov.

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