6 June 2019

Transportation Program offers rides, services for eligible residents

The Greene County Transportation Program’s staff of drivers are ready to transport Greene County residents who meet eligibility requirements to and from destinations in, around, and even outside of the county.
Need a ride?  
The Greene County Transportation Program’s staff of drivers are ready to transport Greene County residents who meet eligibility requirements to and from destinations in, around, and even outside of the county.  
Currently, the Transportation Program has nine full-time and seven casual drivers that operate a fleet of 18 vehicles. The program has completed nearly 33,000 trips so far in the fiscal year with a total of 696 different clients using the services.  
Program Director Rick Blaker said the total number of trips have increased each year over the past few years.
“We are always looking at ways to increase ridership,” he said. “Those totals have increased over the years, and it truly is rewarding to know that we are providing a service to our residents they otherwise may not have.”
Blaker said he believes one of the reasons for the program’s success is experience.
“What make this program successful is that our drivers and staff know the area really well and are experienced in handling any challenges that may arise,” he said. “Most of our customers look at the program as a lifeline to medical providers and services that they need to live a quality life.”    
The Greene County Transportation Program is a Shared Ride Program, which means that those using the service will likely be riding with other consumers, and other riders may be picked up and dropped off before one reaches his or her destination.
In most instances, no one rides for more than an hour; however, the trip may take longer due to other passengers.
The Transportation Program also provides door-to door services for consumers who request assistance; those seeking assistance may receive it between the door of your pick-up and the door of your destination. Drivers are not permitted to enter any residence to assist for any reason.
Blaker said there are a number of ways to qualify for the program.
“Available transportation programs that our program provides for eligible Greene County residents is Senior Shared Ride Program, Medical Assistance Transportation Program and the Persons with Disabilities Program,” Blaker explained. “These are programs that address different needs but equally assist those seeking assistance with transportation.”
The Senior Shared Ride Program is for residents ages 65 and older who need rides for medical appointments, or to go shopping and other destinations as well as free rides to senior centers.
The Medical Assistance Transportation Program is for county residents who have medical assistance (Access card). Eligible riders for this program must meet this specific requirement; more information can be obtained by calling the transportation office. Medical trips covered in this program include therapies, dental visits, pharmacy and medical equipment suppliers. MATP also offers a mileage reimbursement incentive that is available for residents who use their own vehicle.
The Persons with Disabilities Program is for residents ages 18 to 54 years old who have a qualifying physical or mental disability and must provide proof of the disability from a physician or agency.   
Anyone who is interested in registering for the program or is seeking additional information may call the Greene County Transportation Office at 724-627-6778 or 1-877-360-7433 (toll free).
“We will help assess each person’s situation and make arrangements to complete the proper paperwork,” Blaker said.  
Registration paperwork may be downloaded by clicking on the following link: https://www.co.greene.pa.us/Department-Transportation-Services.  
Blaker said residents must call between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (during office hours) Monday through Friday to schedule appointments; reservations must be made no later than 12 p.m. a day prior to the scheduled trip.
Service hours are from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, except designated holidays. Pre-scheduled dialysis trips will be transported on holidays except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
In addition to regular service hours in-county, Blaker said out-of-county rides are also offered by the program.  
Appointments must be scheduled between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Trips to Washington are available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; trips to Uniontown, Tuesdays and Thursdays; trips to Pittsburgh, Mondays and Wednesdays; trips to Morgantown, W.Va., Tuesdays; and trips to Blacksville Clinic, W.Va., Tuesdays and Thursdays (between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.).

All of the Transportations program’s vehicles 100 percent wheelchair accessible, and eligible passengers with aides who physically and/or medically assist them ride for free when accompanying them.           
Funding for the Greene County Transportation Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, the Shared Ride Program of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Greene County Board of Commissioners.