Newell Township expands ride service for senior citizens

Newell Township expands ride service for senior citizens

DANVILLE — Newell Township in Vermilion County has expanded its senior-citizen transportation service by adding a second vehicle and another part-time driver.

"We are pretty full every day," said township Supervisor Jim Wilson, adding that the service was providing about 10-12 rides a day with one vehicle and had to turn people away. "So we decided to buy a new vehicle."

This week, the newly purchased second vehicle was put into service.

Rides to grocery stores, beauty shops, retail stores, dental and medical appointments, the Village Mall, visits with friends, and other locations in the Danville area are available from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In August alone, the service provided 273 rides at $1 each to seniors 60 and older who live within Newell Township, which extends from Voorhees Street in Danville to just north of Bismarck and from the Indiana state line to Logan Avenue in Danville.

With seven senior apartment complexes within the township, Wilson said this has been a good program. The township has run it for several years using part-time employees who drive the vehicles and schedule the rides, with total annual payroll at about $18,000. Money from the county's general fund covers costs beyond the $1 charge to riders, which covers fuel expenses.

The township vehicles are not handicap accessible, but drivers can transport riders who use walkers or canes. Slots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, and rides must be scheduled 24 hours in advance by calling 446-1321.

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