MEOC Transit News
LEE, WISE AND SCOTT
COUNTIES, AND THE CITY OF
NORTON IN SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA
Mountain Empire Transit
Announces Saturday Service Now Available
Transit, a service of Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc., is pleased
to announce it will now be offering Saturday transportation service for
all the citizens of Lee, Scott and Wise Counties and the city of Norton.
This new service is made possible by a grant from the Virginia Board for
People with Disabilities (VBPD) through the Virginia Department for
Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and is open to the public.
Mountain Empire Transit provides public transportation services to
people of all ages Monday through Friday; however, the requests for
Saturday service have increased throughout the years.
"This service would not be possible without the cooperation from
numerous partners including the Virginia Department of Rail and Public
Transportation, DARS and the VBPD" stated Michael K. Wampler, MEOC
Executive Director. "In addition, Frontier Health, Family
Preservation Services and Creative Family Solutions are providing
assistance by coordinating services for individuals with developmental
disabilities, the primary audience for the grant."
Mitch Elliott, Mountain Empire Transit Director, stated the Mountain
Empire Regional Advisory Committee recently completed a survey with 80%
of the respondents indicating a strong need for Saturday services.
"We are pleased to be able to offer this service for the citizens of our
area," Elliott said. "We have already been receiving calls from
people who have taken advantage of the service thanking us for helping
them get out of their house on the weekend."
Saturday services officially began on Saturday, November 17th and the
demand has steadily increased. Elliott expects the demand to
continue to rise as more people become aware of the service. "We
currently have one bus operating in each county for Saturday Service and
as the demand continues to rise, there is always a possibility we could
add additional buses in the future."
Saturday service hours will be between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
excluding holidays. Charges are .75 cents per boarding for persons
age 60+ and under 18; $1.50 per boarding for all others.
Please call 276.523.RIDE (7433) or toll-free 1.888.877.6748 for more
information or to make a reservation. a 24-hour notice is required
Mountain Empire Older Citizens Inc.
Receives STAR Award for Excellence
$5,000 for Senior Transportation Services
On August 20,
Beverly Foundation announced its STAR Awards for Senior Transportation
Services. The award program recognizes exceptional service in providing
transportation to older adults. One of the Foundation’s prestigious STAR
Special Recognition Awards was given to Mountain Empire Older Citizens Inc. The
STAR Award recognizes the employment of a mobility manager, the development of a
volunteer driver program and MEOC’s commitment to developing and maintaining a
seamless and coordinated transportation system for all ages.
mobility manager, funded by the Department of Rail and Public Transportation’s
New Freedom Initiative, has the charge of developing a volunteer policy manual,
coordinating medical appointments, and grouping trips for maximum efficiency and
Foundation president Helen Kerschner said: “Our STAR Awards recognize ‘the best
of the best’ organizations that provide transportation to older adults. This
year we received 450 applications for awards. We congratulate Mountain Empire
Older Citizens, Inc. for making an enormous contribution to seniors, their
"This recognition of Mountain
Empire Transit comes on the heels of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray
LaHood's award in March 2009 to Mountain Empire Older Citizens of the 2008
United We Ride Leadership Award "in recognition of effective public transit
human services transportation coordination, planning and implementation." MEOC's
Transit Department continues to seek better and more creative ways to serve the
citizens of far southwest Virginia, never idly sitting by satisfied with the
status quo. Much of what we do at MEOC would be impossible without a strong
integrated and coordinated public and health and human services
transportation program. For example, we would never have developed MEOC's Adult
Day Health Care Centers, Alzheimer's Community Group Respite Centers and
Mountain Empire PACE, our newest community based long term care service, without
already having Mountain Empire Transit in place. It just would have been too
huge a financial and programmatic barrier to do so", said MEOC Executive
Director Marilyn Pace Maxwell.
Transit will soon be launching its Volunteer Driver Program, another example
of leadership in developing a program designed to find ways to address unique
and specialized mobility problems of individuals presently without needed
transportation", she added.
Delegate Kilgore, Nicky Fleenor, Mobility Manager (center) Marilyn Maxwell, MEOC
Mountain Empire Older
Citizens received a Commendation from the House of Delegates on August 28, 2009
offering congratulations for its recent Beverly Foundation Senior Transportation
This award recognizes the
employment of a mobility manager, the development of a volunteer driver program
and MEOC’s commitment to developing and maintaining a seamless and coordinated
transportation system for all ages. Delegate Terry Kilgore (left) presented the
Commendation to Mobility Manager Nicky Fleenor (middle) and Executive Director
Marilyn Pace Maxwell (right) on September 15, 2009 at MEOC’s offices in Big
Stone Gap. Maxwell stated, “We are thankful that Delegate Kilgore and the
Virginia House of Delegates continue to recognize and support the work and
mission of MEOC and those we serve. We were very pleased to receive the Beverly
Foundation’s Star Award, one of only 10 programs honored nationally. The General
Assembly’s acknowledgement of this achievement is deeply appreciated by MEOC”.
MEOC’s Volunteer Driver
Program, funded by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation’s
New Freedom Initiative, seeks volunteer drivers who are at least 21 years of age
to provide transportation to consumers in the Lee, Scott and Wise County area.
MEOC will accommodate volunteer drivers by providing them with a flexible
schedule, use of an agency vehicle and training.
New Volunteers Diana Vloomer (left) and Carol
Nicky Fleenor, Mobility Manager (center)
If you are interested in
volunteering with the Volunteer Driver Program, please call Nicky Fleenor,
Mobility Manager at (276) 523-7433 for more information.
and comment on the MERTAC Regional
Copyright, Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc. All Rights Reserved.