senior transport

Pierce County’s Senior Center now has transportation to and from events.

The board of commissioners approved a transportation plan for the senior citizens group without having to purchase a bus.

The county will utilize Pierce Transit for transportation to outings and events. The action was unanimously approved at the BOC’s regular monthly meeting last Tuesday night.

Under the agreement, Pierce Transit will provide a handicap accessible bus for the senior citizens for one and a half days per month. The county will pay $38 per hour or up to a total of $380 per month to cover the costs of transportation for the seniors.

Pierce Transit was contracted out to MIDS of Valdosta several years ago.

MIDS had indicated the county may be eligible for grant funding to help cover the seniors’ transportation costs.

MIDS, based in Valdosta, provides the transit service. The company serves all 18 counties in the Southeast Georgia Regional Commission.

County chairman Neal Bennett, fourth district commissioner David Lowman, county manager Jason Rubenbauer and senior center advocate and volunteer Karen Herndon met and worked out the agreement.

Herndon offered her personal thanks at the county commission meeting.

“The seniors really appreciate this and I appreciate you doing this for them,” she said.

The senior center, administered by Action Pact, formerly Concerted Services, currently has about 34 active participants.

About 20 members of the group attended the commission’s April meeting seeking funds for a new bus.

The county did have a bus in recent years but it developed mechanical problems and was taken out of service about four years ago.

The lift on the bus did not work, making it impossible for seniors with mobility problems to get on board.