The Lake County Board of Commissioners and Laketran, the regional public transportation authority, are partnering to improve transportation access for seniors to attend the plethora of activities offered at countywide Lake County senior centers.
Effective January 2019, Laketran, with help from the Senior Services Levy, will be offering door-to-door, Dial-a-Ride transportation to and from any Lake County senior center free of charge for Lake County residents 60 years and older. Free transportation will also extend to seniors traveling to and from volunteer activities with the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), after approval by RSVP.
“Removing transportation barriers for seniors is an important component in addressing social isolation by enabling individuals to more fully participate in an active community life,” said Alyea Barajas, Senior Services Coordinator for the Lake County Commissioners. “Lake County is fortunate to have many wonderful opportunities to be socially engaged at the local senior centers and with RSVP. We are thankful for Laketran’s ability to help us offer this service to seniors in a manner that is convenient and easy to access.”
“Senior Centers are our third most population destination, after work and medical trips,” shared Laketran CEO Ben Capelle. “In the past we have operated programs with individual senior centers, but by consolidating the program at the county level, not only will it be managed more efficiently, but the partnership will guarantee all seniors in Lake County have the same access.”
As the aging population of Lake County continues to grow, the demand for Laketran’s Dial-a-Ride service continues to do the same.
Transit trips to area senior centers has increased 25 percent between 2015 and 2017. Last year, Laketran provided over 15,000 Dial-a-Ride trips to area senior centers, plus an additional 2,000 trips to RSVP volunteers.
“Men tend to outlive their driving ability by about six years and women, by about 10 years. It is just the beginning of a span of 25-30 years where the baby boomer generation will demand more transportation services and partnerships like this are vital to the quality of life for seniors in Lake County,” explained Capelle.
Capelle also pointed out the new partnership simplifies the senior transportation program, which makes it easier for the user as well as to manage internally.
“What’s best about this partnership is it’s easy for seniors to understand. Simply, if you’re over 60, Laketran can get you to any senior center in the county and it’s free,” explained Capelle.
To make a reservation for Laketran’s Dial-a-Ride service, call (440) 354-6100.