A new program that provides seniors with transportation is seeking volunteers willing to provide those rides.
MyRide TN is looking to expand its senior-friendly volunteer transportation services into Warren County. Volunteers are needed to use their own personal vehicles to carry older residents to a variety of destinations, including medical appointments and grocery stores.
“We have to have 10 volunteers to begin offering this program in Warren County,” said Carey Davenport, MyRide Upper Cumberland regional coordinator. “We started Jan. 28 of last year in Putnam County with the program and we are now in Cumberland County. We currently have about 80 riders and about 40 volunteers in both counties. Once we have 10 volunteers, we can start accepting riders.”
Rides are provided Monday thru Friday and priority is given to doctor appointments. Riders must be 60 years of age and older, live independently and walk independently (or with assistance from walkers or canes), but do not drive.
Volunteers must have a valid driver’s license, be at least 21 years old, pass a background check, attend a two-hour training class, have a clean driving record, and be willing to work a minimum of three hours a month.
“The volunteers use their own personal vehicle and gas, but they are protected by five levels of coverage. The first level is their insurance. Then, MyRide has secondary insurance. Then, they are protected by UCHRA liability. Then, they are protected by state and federal regulations that were put into place to protect volunteers of seniors. Our riders also sign a consent and release form. They are not allowed to sue us because we are a volunteer-based program.”
Volunteers are allowed to pick what rides they want to provide.
MyRide TN is a membership program. An annual membership fee of $25 includes the first three trips. After that, trips cost $4 per round trip and $1 each additional stop requested.
“Everything is pre-paid,” said Davenport. “Volunteers are not allowed to accept any money, not even tips. The only thing they can accept is baked goods or garden vegetables. No cash.”
Riders must request a ride three days in advance, trips cannot last more than three hours, stops are limited to three, and riders are limited to three trips a week. Rides are restricted to the boundaries of Warren County.
For more information, Davenport will be available at Warren County Senior Center on Wednesday, Feb. 5, and at Magness Library on Thursday, Feb. 6. She will be at both locations all day.