People in Williams County who need transportation service can now call toll-free for “The Ride.”
That is the name of the new countywide public transportation service being offered by Quadco Rehabilitation Center.
The transportation service is available to people in Williams County for whatever the need may be, whether it is to medical appointments, to go to work or to visit with friends and family.
Speaking at the regular monthly joint meeting of the administrative and non-profit boards, Quadco Executive Director Bruce Abell said that the transportation service has started to operate on a limited basis.
He distributed copies of a brochure about the start-up of the service to the board members. The brochure includes basic information about the service, including the hours of operation, which is Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Reservations for rides are needed at least 24 hours ahead of the trip, and can be made by calling 1-888-982-1011. The reservations will be taken during office hours Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Rates for rides are also included in the brochure. Unless a person is covered by an agency that contracts with Quadco for the service, the fee is $2.50 if the trip is within a 3 mile radius each way. If it is outside a three-mile radius each way, then the cost is $2.50 and an additional 75 cents per mile.
For trips outside the immediate four-county area, the fee is $5.00 plus an additional 75 cents per mile as well as an hourly wait fee.
Mr. Abell said copies of the brochure will be distributed to agencies and places around Williams County to help more people know about the service. The brochure is available for viewing and downloading at Quadco’s website at www.quadcorehab.org.
“I think it’s going to be a good thing for the county,” said Quadco Transportation/Maintenance Manager Steve Slattman who will be overseeing the service.
Mr. Slattman said they have already served their first public rider who needed to go for a medical appointment.
The service is available for anyone in Williams County, regardless of whether they have a disability or not. It uses accessible vans that have lifts for those who use wheelchairs.
One issue Quadco has had in getting the system up and running was finding an adequate number of drivers for the system. According to Mr. Abell, they are still looking for additional drivers as they prepare to serve more people who need transportation in the county.
“We will be looking for more drivers, growing the service and offering more and more rides to people in Williams County,” he told the board members.
Mr. Abell also told the board members that their Defiance center has a new location. He said the center has moved to 717 Perry Street from their former East Second Street location.
“We’re getting a lot more space in the new site,” Mr. Abell told the board members. This will allow the center to serve more individuals there as well.
He showed photos of the center, including an exercise room, art room, production room, kitchen and dining room and a large open room that will allow for projects that the participants do together.
There is also a storage building in back that will allow for group projects and a large yard. There are plans for a garden project already in the making.
Mr. Abell noted that the new site is close to Defiance municipal buildings and close to the downtown so that field trips can be made to the downtown area. This will give the particpants more of an opportunity to be a part of the community.
There are plans to have an open house once everything is in place, and he said a board meeting will be scheduled there in the near future.
Program Director Philip Zuver noted that he has seen some increase in production work at the center since the first of the year.
He also mentioned that the NASCAR Club at Northwest Products has begun meeting again, and the Healthy Choices Club has been working on some healthy cooking projects.
Stryker Manager Jessica Douglass said Valentine’s Day was celebrated in February. Participants made Valentine’s, decorated around the center and joined in for a Valentine’s Day party in February with a dance and refreshments.
There has been a group exercising to a Biggest Loser video and another enjoying Wii bowling and a golf game.
She said the Book Club and Art Club members continue to meet and the Men’s and Women’s Club went bowling and recently visited an antique mall.