"TRANSPORTATION REIMBURSEMENT AND INFORMATION PROJECT (TRIP)" PROGRAM
Riverside County, CA, USA.
"The conversation is often more than 'I need a ride' more usually, the conversations are those that normally happen between friends. 'How have you been feeling? I've been OK, but need to go to the pharmacy pretty soon – do you think we could go next week sometime? Maybe we can stop for lunch too? Oh, that would be wonderful.' The idea of advance scheduling takes on an entirely different connotation."
The Transportation Reimbursement and Information Project (TRIP) Program is a low cost, low maintenance operation which provides free senior transportation. The advantage of this type of alternative to senior transportation is the elimination of a centralized scheduling and dispatch function, reducing the expense of operating a program.
The TRiP Program is ideal for seniors who no longer drive, don't have a car, don't have family members who drive them around when they need to travel, or are unable to access and use public transportation.
Rides for seniors are arranged between senior passengers and their volunteer driver. Rides can be prearranged or at the last moment, on any day, at any time, as long as it is mutually agreeable to the volunteer driver and the passenger.
Seniors who are in need of transportation are referred to the TRIP Program by social workers or other agencies. Senior are required to apply. Staff thencontacts the applicant by telephone and has a chance to become very familiar with seniors on a personal level.
The Transportation Reimbursement and Information Project (TRIP) Program requires limited staff and infrastructure. Volunteer drivers provide senior transport as their schedule allows. Volunteers are not required to be on call and do not need to schedule blocks of time to be available to provide rides as a TRIP driver.
For communities looking to start alternate senior transportation methods, TRIP offers training tools and how to manuals to get seniors who need special transportation assistance up and moving.
The TRIP Program is the 2012 Winner of the Beverly Foundation Star Award for Excellence. The Beverly Foundation works to foster new ideas and options to enhance senior transportation and mobility.