Sunday, November 17, 2019

C.A.R.S. Gets It Moving

For most Southlake residents, a trip to the grocery store or going to a dentist appointment may not be a favorite activity, but do not require much effort or forethought. However, for the city’s senior residents and disabled adult citizens, such routine tasks can be daunting. Oftentimes, the challenge starts with simply figuring out how to get there and back.

For this reason, Call A Ride Southlake (CARS) was established in 2000 to provide free, non-emergency transportation to Southlake seniors and disabled adult citizens for medical, dental, social, business, shopping and personal needs.

Staffed with volunteer drivers, CARS operates Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and will transport within a 25 mile radius of Southlake (including Arlington, Fort Worth and Dallas) for most medical purposes, and within a seven mile radius of Southlake for other appointments.

According to Dick McCauley, chairman of the board for the non-profit organization, 60-80 percent of the rides provided are for medical appointments and the remainder are social-oriented, such as visiting family or friends in nursing/assisted living facilities or going to the Southlake Senior Activity Center.

“We have a fabulous core of 20 volunteers who do this because they want to give back, but we have struggled to reach a high percentage of people in Southlake to tell about our service and make them understand it is free,” McCauley stated. “Not only do we need more volunteer drivers, but we also need more users.”

Senior citizens and disabled adult persons who need or desire to utilize the CARS program must complete an application and interview. For a qualified rider to utilize the transportation program, riders must call CARS at least 24 hours in advance. A dispatcher will contact a volunteer driver to arrange transportation. The driver will then contact the rider to confirm the destination and pick-up time requested.

Likewise, all volunteer drivers must complete an application form and have an exemplary driving record. Volunteer drivers provide and maintain their own vehicles to participate in this program. If a rider has a special handling need such as a wheelchair, a ramp-equipped van is available in the CARS fleet. And while users must reside in Southlake, drivers may live in other communities.

“While we are providing a service to others, they are giving us something in return,” McCauley said. “There are so many people we want to help if they’ll let us.”

For more information about CARS, call 817-798-4022 or e-mail callaride@hotmail.com.

 

One Way Trips

Jan

Feb

Mar

April

May

June

July

Aug

Sept

Total

Medical/Dental

6

4

46

70

85

62

64

96

55

488

Southlake Senior Center

42

54

78

60

63

54

47

44

38

480

Personal Needs

13

12

16

15

18

7

12

8

14

115

Shopping

0

2

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

4

Business

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

8

8

16

Other Senior Centers

8

8

8

6

8

8

8

8

2

64

Other

14

9

16

24

20

22

28

16

14

163

Total One Way Trips

83

89

164

175

194

155

159

180

131

1330

CARS has served 108 unduplicated riders this year,

which averages to 12 to 15 unduplicated riders per month.