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Dial-A-Ride

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Nathan Mackenzie

In 1979, residents of Montrose County stepped in to fill a growing need in their community:  providing transportation for their elderly and disabled friends and neighbors. The service now known as All Points Transit (APT) began humbly with just a single vehicle. Today the organization operates a 29 vehicle fleet in a service area that spans over 4,400 square miles. Covering expansive rural swaths of Montrose, Delta, and San Miguel Counties, APT’s driver-assisted, door-to-door, wheelchair-accessible transportation provides an essential service for the Western Slope.

For many of us, the ability to get from one place to another is a passing concern, or no concern at all. In many parts of rural Colorado, however, transit is a persistent burden. For elderly citizens and people with disabilities, this transportation challenge can lead to the inability to access vital services, including medical appointments and meals at community centers and senior meal sites. On a broader level, the ability to get from one place to another with relative ease is a key component of civic and community engagement. An inability to travel effectively means a slow unraveling of the social ties that help make all communities strong.

For these reasons, El Pomar Foundation recently provided a $10,000 grant to support this important mission, specifically designating funds to support APT’s “Dial-a-Ride” program. As a pre-scheduled, “call for service” model of transportation, this growing program addresses a key piece of the rural transportation puzzle. Through their Dial-a-Ride program, APT helps ensure their riders’ “health, independence and mobility.” In 2015, APT anticipates providing nearly 40,000 rides, with 50% of the trips connecting those in need with non-emergency medical services.