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State Rolls Out Minivan Fleet To Help Rural Seniors Get Around

Senior patient sitting in a wheelchair.
David Pereiras / EyeEm
Getty Images/EyeEm
Seniors in some of W.Va's rural areas will soon have more transportation options thanks to handicapped-accessible minivans made available through the West Virginia Department of Transportation

Seniors in some of the state’s rural areas will soon have more transportation options.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation announced Monday that six agencies serving seniors around the state will receive handicapped-accessible minivans.

The vans, which will be able to pick up riders at their homes, will each hold one wheelchair and three passengers.

The state’s Division of Public Transit procured the vehicles through the federal 5310 Program, which is designed to enhance mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Local community groups receiving a minivan are required to contribute a 20 percent match of the $64,000 cost of each vehicle, according to the WVDOT press release.

“Unfortunately, some folks don’t have people to take them places. They need to go to the grocery store. They need to go to their doctor. They need to get their medications,” said John Caldwell, a procurement officer with the Division of Public Transportation. “The 5310 Program helps them with that.”

Local agencies receiving the minivans include:

  • Central West Virginia Community Action
  • Family Service - Upper Ohio Valley
  • Pocahontas County Senior Citizens
  • Kanawha Valley Senior Services
  • Braxton County Senior Citizens Center
  • Council of Senior Tyler Countians

Several of the communities receiving the minivans don’t have access to public transportation or ride-sharing services.

Reporter, aknisely@wvpublic.org

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