Montgomery County has launched an online tool to connect older adult residents to volunteer ride providers, officials announced last week.
The tool uses GIS mapping to connect a resident’s address with nonprofits, senior villages and other groups that provide volunteer drivers. These drivers will help older residents get to medical appointments, grocery stores and other obligations.
The Montgomery County Volunteer Rides program builds off of other county efforts to increase accessible transportation for older residents. The county allows seniors and people with disabilities to ride free on Ride On and select Metro buses at all times. It also offers a discounted taxi program for eligible residents.
“Mobility and accessibility to transportation options are critical to helping improve the quality of life for our older residents,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a release. “This new tool makes it easier for residents to locate organizations providing rides. This service can help them remain more independent and better able to get to important appointments.”
Two volunteer ride providers serve all of Montgomery County through the new tool – The Senior Connection and American Cancer Society. Other organizations will participate in the volunteer program based on proximity to an older resident’s address.
To access the service, Montgomery County residents can type their addresses on the volunteer ride website, which will then redirect them to the contact pages for nearby ride providers.
Residents can also view the service through a volunteer rides interactive map. Residents can place a point on the interactive map or type in their address to receive information and links to contact providers.
The tool is also available to people with low or no vision and who use screen readers. Residents who have difficulty using the tool are encouraged to reach out to Connect A-Ride for assistance at 301-738-3252.