Sedgwick County Boosts Transportation Services For Seniors, People With Disabilities

May 10, 2017

Sedgwick County is increasing its transportation services for older adults and people with disabilities who live in cities outside of Wichita city limits.

County commissioners voted on Wednesday to seek a $97,000 grant from the Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WAMPO) for the Sedgwick County Transportation (SCT) program.

The money will be used to add a driver and an accessible vehicle to SCT.

The transportation program currently offers only limited service in cities such as Valley Center, Derby and Maize to take people to and from medical appointments.

The director for the county’s Division on Aging, Annette Graham, says increasing transit options for seniors and people with disabilities in these areas fills a critical need.

"These are populations that we see growing in our community, and also these unmet needs continue to be identified," Graham says.

Starting next year, the transportation program will be able to help people get to other places too, such as social service appointments, grocery stores or a bank.

The agency says demand for medical, personal and work transportation is an issue in Sedgwick County, specifically in the areas not covered by rural general public services or the City of Wichita’s fixed routes and specialized transportation services.

The SCT program will increase transit options for seniors and individuals with disabilities in Derby, Mulvane, Haysville, Goddard, Valley Center, Bel Aire, Park City, Kechi and Maize. Many in this targeted population have limited or no access to lift and/or ramp accessible transportation.

"These services in those areas outside of the Wichita city limits, those urbanized areas, were decreased by some changes in funding about a year and a half ago, and then also when the Red Cross’ transportation program ended last June," Graham says.

SCT will prioritize medical trips first and then social service trips. The goal is to help county residents remain in their homes and community.

She expects the county’s program to provide nearly 11,000 rides next year.

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Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar

 

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