From left, Derek Smith, Independence Township Parks, Recreation, and Seniors director; Barbara Rollin, seniors supervisor; Jerry Ellis, driver; Theresa Gordon, parks and rec; and Madonna Van Fossen, SMART Oakland County Ombudsman worked to update the township bus fleet.
BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
Folks needing a ride to the doctor’s or for shopping have a couple new buses for the new year, thanks to a SMART grant.
“We would like to thank Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) for our two newest buses that we received through the FTA Section 5310: Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Grant,” said Barbara Rollin, Independence Township Senior Division supervisor. “Without the buses they lease to us, we would not be able to provide the services to the three communities we serve, Independence and Springfield townships and Clarkston.”
In 2018, the Independence Township Senior Transportation Program gave over 10,000 rides to seniors and disabled adults over 18, driven more than 95,000 miles, and used over 9,000 gallons of gas.
“We are grateful to Independence Township and Springfield and Clarkston — our communities for their support,” Rollin said. “Without this valuable service, many of our riders would not be able to get to doctor appointments, work, grocery stores and other places they need to go. This program is a true lifeline in our community.”
The transportation service is funded through the Independence Township general fund, Community Development Block Grant funds, Municipal Credits and Specialized Services funding, riders’ donations, fundraisers, and other donations. Springfield Township and Clarkston also contribute their Municipal Credit funds to the program.
Passengers are required to be 55 or older, or handicapped adults over 18. Wheelchair transportation is available.
The service is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. All appointments need to be scheduled no later than 12 p.m. the day before ride and are subject to availability.
It offers curb-to-curb service anywhere within Independence Township, Springfield Township, and Clarkston.
Suggested donation to ride is $3 each way, $6 round trip,
Medical appointments for McLaren Oakland, Pontiac General and St. Joe’s in Pontiac are subject to availability and are $5 one way/$10 round trip suggested cost share.
Shopping trips to Meijer and Great Lakes Crossing Mall every other Tuesday. Pick up between 10-10:30 a.m. Pick up from Meijer at 1:30 p.m. $6 per person.
All new riders must complete a medical form before their first ride and will receive a copy of the Transportation Policy.
For more information, call Rollin or Theresa Gordon at 248-625-8231.