Rides for Ridgefield provides information and rides to Ridgefield seniors and residents with mobility disabilities. Our Board of Directors includes community leaders, local entrepreneurs, Ridgefield residents, and people who recognize the important part mobility plays in an individual's quality of life.
Rides For Ridgefield provides two services. Our Mobility Management Center volunteers help residents identify their transportation choices. Our fully screened, trained volunteer drivers provide rides when other transportation options are not available.
A Little History
The impetus for Rides For Ridgefield arose from a discussion of the critical elements needed for seniors to successfully stay in their homes as they aged. One of those critical elements was identified as easily available, affordable, accessible transportation that seniors could use for medical appointments, personal errands and social activities.
Rides For Ridgefield originated as a six member task force of the town’s First Selectman. The Ridgefield Senior-Mobility Task Force documented available transportation services for Ridgefield seniors and for residents unable to drive because of medical restrictions, surveyed residents to assess needs, gathered information about replicable approaches used in other communities and identified possible funding sources. The Task Force’s Phase One Report noted that Ridgefield’s senior population was steadily increasing and that a number of residents reported being unable to drive for medical reasons. Although many needs were met by the town’s currently available services many more were left unmet. In most instances available services were restricted to particular groups of riders, specific geographic areas and /or purposes (e.g., cancer patients, group members, agency clients, Medicaid eligible riders, medical appointments only, within town only).
Studies have shown that a lack of available transportation impedes access to essential services, impedes ability to socialize and results in social isolation. The Task Force found that the issues and concerns reflected in their data, while complex, are not unique to Ridgefield. They are being addressed by communities across the nation. The most successful models developed in response to identified needs seemed to be those where providers and community leaders worked together to find mutually acceptable solutions. This model was the basis for a September 2012 Workshop where providers, community leaders including representatives from senior and disability groups, residents and other interested parties came together to engage in identifying solutions to the expressed issues. Since the Fall of 2012, the original task force has expanded to a working group of over 30 committed volunteers representing providers, community leaders, senior and mobility challenged residents and local residents. These committed volunteers established the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Rides For Ridgefield Inc. in May 2013.