Mesa County donates buses for disabled

Mesa County commissioners on Monday agreed to donate four decommissioned Grand Valley Transit buses to Mesa Developmental Services, which finds itself facing an emergency transportation need.

The nonprofit says it needs the buses to accommodate the clients it will be serving as a result of next month’s closure of the skilled-nursing unit at the Grand Junction Regional Center.

MDS estimates it will take in 24 of the 32 residents of that unit and is building three eight-bed group homes. The organization will use the 12-passenger buses to transport clients to the new group homes and for day-program use.

“Some of the individuals in these new homes cannot even use a wheelchair and must be transported in custom-designed wheeled recliners or gurneys, which presents a new transportation challenge for us,” MDS spokeswoman Marilee Langfitt wrote in a letter to commissioners in December. “As you can imagine, passenger capacity per vehicle will be greatly reduced due to the space needed to accommodate these devices.”

Todd Hollenbeck, manager of the Regional Transportation Planning Office, which operates GVT, told commissioners MDS has applied for a state grant to purchase new buses but won’t receive them until the end of the year.


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