Transit service set for Fruita seniors

A gap in transit service for senior citizens in Fruita has prompted local government and health care officials to launch a pilot program next month that will ferry residents to and from the grocery store and medical appointments once a week.

The city, Mesa County and Family Health West are working on the program, which will begin July 1 and continue for six months. The service is designed to reach residents who don’t qualify for Grand Valley Transit’s paratransit service but aren’t able to utilize GVT’s fixed-route service.

City Councilwoman Lori Buck said she began organizing the program after a Fruita woman contacted her. The woman was the driver in the household but couldn’t drive anymore because of foot surgery.

Buck said the woman isn’t disabled but isn’t healthy enough to get to and wait at a bus stop.

The city chipped in $5,000 to pay for the weekly door-to-door service. Family Health West will provide a driver and a bus. The county’s Supporting our Seniors program will coordinate the rides and medical appointments.

“It’s very exciting to see all the players come together and do something maybe each of us individually weren’t prepared to do,” said Errol Snider, chief operating officer for Family Health West.

Officials expect some 40 people may sign up for the free service. Buck said organizers will monitor it closely and evaluate it at the end of the year to gauge its popularity and expense.

“We’re crossing our fingers, giving it a shot and seeing what happens,” she said.

Fruita seniors who want to sign up for the service can call Supporting our Seniors at 248-2722.


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