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Published: Tuesday, 5/28/2013

PERRYSBURG TRANSIT

Volunteer drivers are back on road again

City’s Ride Right to replace service

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Neighbors Helping Neighbors program to connect volunteer drivers with elderly and disabled Perrysburg residents who need transportation is back in business.

Ed Hoover is filling in as the volunteer coordinator after Rosa Linda Brown moved out of the area. Mr. Hoover is encouraging those who need transportation around Perrysburg to call him at 419-279-4009 to schedule a ride. The phone line and program are provided through Perrysburg 4 Transit.

“At a [Perrysburg 4 Transit] meeting, we said how it was needed and [Mr. Hoover] immediately stepped up,” said Rachel Johnson, a Perrysburg 4 Transit committee member. “Sometimes it is hard to know how big of a job that is.”

For more than a month, the Neighbors Helping Neighbors was discontinued because of Ms. Brown’s departure from the area. While some volunteers kept in touch with the riders, there was no phone line and coordinator to set riders up.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors will end its service July 1, or whenever Ride Right public transportation starts up in Perrysburg. The city of Perrysburg and Ride Right have set a tentative date of July 1 for the service to begin.

Mr. Hoover said he has 10 to 12 volunteers right now and 15 to 20 people in need of rides. He said that with people getting only one trip a week, it is amazing how full their schedules are. They will go to the grocery store for an hour, then go to the bank, and then the pharmacy.

The volunteers use their own vehicles and coordinate through Mr. Hoover or the riders on when and where they need to go.

Mr. Hoover said they don’t have any wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

“It makes me realize how much people need public transportation,” Mr. Hoover said.

On May 7, Perrysburg voters approved a public transportation levy.

The five-year, 0.8-mill transit levy passed with almost 72 percent of the vote. The levy, a little more than half the amount of the levy rejected in November, will generate about $450,000 per year and would cost the owner of a $200,000 house about $50 a year.

Ride Right will be a dial-a-ride service with a fee of $1.



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