Independent life Center offers transportation for disabled

A transportation option geared toward the disabled is trying to pick up where taxi service left off.

The non-profit Independent Life Center now drives residents who are unable to operate cars due to disabilities via a van received in August and paid for by state grant dollars.

"We serve the Craig area and about five miles (beyond city limits)," said Evelyn Tileston, with the Independent Life Center.

The van, free of charge to eligible residents, is accessible just by showing drivers authorization cards. Cards entitle users to one free round-trip per day, while service is based on a first-come, first-served basis, according to rules for the van distributed by the group.

The van is available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Medical and therapy appointments have top priority with the van, followed by education and work-related appointments, and grocery store and pharmacy visits.

Wheelchair users are given preference, according to published van rules.

Tileston said interested parties should apply in person at the Independent Life Center, in part in order to track numbers for funding justification for the program.

"We also have to be sure the people riding it are the people intended to ride it," she said.

Some 63 people already have met that criteria and have been issued cards. Tileston said there currently are not plans to limit the number cards issued.

"We hope we don't ever have to do that," she said.

The service is aimed at residents aged 62 years and younger, as the senior citizens van continues to serve those at or above those age limits, according to the non-profit group.

Under special conditions, the van can be used by residents with extraordinary needs on days when the van is not scheduled for service, Tileston said.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.

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