| Sep 28, 2006


Feature Article - September 28, 2006

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Feature Article - September 28, 2006

RuralRoutes Transportation update

by Jane Drew

In November of 2005, the Ontario Trillium Foundation enthusiastically agreed to fund a two-year pilot project to establish Rural Routes Transportation Service, presently operating under the umbrella of Northern Frontenac Community Services. It is located above the Frontenac News office at 1095 Garrett Street in Sharbot Lake .

In April of ’06 the Community Support Program began sharing the services of their 25 drivers with Rural Routes. Since that time, although some of the original drivers have moved on to other things, ten names have been added to the volunteer driver roster, including four who are also van drivers. In March of this year Rural Routes was able to purchase two Honda Odyssey vans through a grant from the Ministry of Health. The vans are used on a daily basis in addition to the volunteer driver program.

Flyers

Rural Routes provides personal transportation through the volunteer driver base if you need a drive, call the office, a driver will be booked and the arrangement confirmed with you. Several agencies have agreements with Rural Routes and in some cases can be billed directly for your transportation. Please call the office for more information.

Transportation is provided for children who will benefit from attending day care and nursery school programs, as well as parents who are interested in attending parenting workshops to provide them with the skills required to nurture happy healthy children.

Seniors who are no longer comfortable driving the long distances to city shopping centres can enjoy a day away, lunch with friends and shopping for items not available locally. These trips are extremely enjoyable for those who participate. Rural Routes also enables residents to attend medical appointments in surrounding centres when necessary. It enables people to stay in their homes, and not be forced to move to where specialized medical services are available. Every resident has equal opportunity to get to and from personal appointments, social, cultural and recreational activities, as well as access to other personal services available within a daily driving radius.

Regular van trips to Napanee, Smiths Falls , Perth and Kingston have been advertised, and more success with these trips is anticipated as the weather changes. However, a van trip to Kingston is booked for October 3, at a cost of $20/person, or $12/senior. Please call the office if you are interested in booking a seat.

A trip for four or more friends can be arranged through Rural Routes, with the cost being based on the distance traveled. Several groups have gone to different destinations in Ottawa , Lanark and Perth , as well as an adventure in Prince Edward County ! Other ideas for these trips are 1000 Island Boat Cruise, Westport Studio Tour, Pembroke, Merrickville , Upper Canada Village, the list goes on and on let your imagination be your guide!

Successful bus trips have already taken place to Canada Blooms and Montreal Botanical Gardens to please the gardeners among us, and on October 28 a trip is planned to the Canadian Home & Garden Show in Toronto, which is a show by the publishers of ‘Cottage Style’ magazine offering design ideas for creative country-style living. Admission to the show is $10, $9/seniors, and the bus is $50 per person. The final trip for 2006 is on November 25, to the Toronto Skydome Pow Wow, an amazing display of First Nations talents and crafts, at a cost of $48. Admission to the Pow Wow is $10/person.

Rural Routes has seen steady growth since its inception. In March, just 1,200 kilometers were driven, and by August that number had ballooned to 18,780. Stats show a total of 199 new clients and 1,233 trips provided as of August 31. Statistics prove that Rural Routes has been extremely well received by the population it serves and comments from clients indicate their satisfaction.

If you are having difficulties getting to where you need to go…call Rural Routes Transportation Service at 613-279-2044 or 877-279-2044. We’re here to help.

AND YOU CAN HELP US! During the month of October, volunteers will be contacting drivers, clients, agencies, and members of the general public to determine whether or not Rural Routes is meeting all the transportation requirements of this community. Volunteers are needed to conduct interviews and gather information as part of the evaluation process. Please call the office for additional information. Volunteer drivers are always needed in different areas of our catchment area. Call for information about mileage paid, etc. It has come to our attention that volunteer drivers who transport children would benefit greatly from an extra pair of hands during trips. If you are interested in accompanying a volunteer driver to assist with the needs of the children, please contact Rural Routes.

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