New ride share program launched in Tennessee to help seniors get around

A new program that offers a “lift” to seniors who do not or cannot drive launched Tuesday, Dec. 4 at the Jonesborough Senior Center.

“MyRide TN – Jonesborough” offers “door through door” transportation to town of Jonesborough residents 60 years of age or older.

“Essentially, what it is for is folks who are homebound. To qualify to be a part of the program, you have to be 60,” Senior Center Director Mary Sanger said.

“And this will be serving seniors who don’t have access to transportation, so we have a group of volunteers that will pick these folks up and take them to doctors’ appointments, and then eventually it will include grocery stores, the pharmacy, the bank and things like that. We’re starting with medical appointments first, and we’re starting with folks that live in the city limits of Jonesborough. Eventually we’ll expand out into the county.”

The state-wide program was funded by a grant from the state through “Serving Tennessee’s Seniors,” which is administered by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Funding also came from a grant with the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.

Senior Center Transportation Coordinator Susan Katko will be the program’s leader and she said she saw the benefits the program could offer.

“I see the need. I see the need for rides. Especially for medical appointments, which is where we’re starting. It’s been proven if you can keep them going to these appointments, you are increasing not only their lifespan but their quality of life.

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