Reach Your Destination Easily (RYDE) is a curb-to-curb transportation program serving parts of Santa Clara County. RYDE serves adults over 65 who can walk on their own or with the aid of a cane or a walker. RYDE helps serve those who cannot access public transportation easily, cannot afford using rideshare, or may not qualify for paratransit (transportation for those with a disability). We provide affordable transportation for all ambulatory seniors who live within our service area. Currently WVCS assists over 250 community members with their transportation needs.
RYDE has been in operation since 2017, providing rides to everything from grocery trips to medical appointments. Riders have made trips to a home of a friend for a visit and to their local senior center to take classes. One of our goals is to assist our riders in keeping their independence as much as possible. We have had people sign up their parents and spouses,and RYDE has been able to assist in the challenging transition to no longer being able to drive. The program has also had an impact on family members of our riders, allowing them to go to work or complete other errands and feel secure in the safety of their loved ones while using our service. In the past 6 months we have been able to provide over 1500 rides to our community members and we continue to increase the number of rides we provide every month.
The program is co-operated by WVCS and the Saratoga Area Senior Coordinating Council, and supported by the Valley Transportation Authority and local city and county governments. Rides are provided by a team of paid and volunteer drivers. All have gone through a thorough background check and comprehensive training. We want to ensure our riders’ and drivers’ safety, so we have protocols in place to lower the chance of illness and accidents. One such protocol is that all vehicles have a plexiglass barrier between the front (where the drivers are) and the back seat (where riders sit), and everyone must still wear a mask during transportation. Another safety concern is getting into the correct vehicle and riding with a stranger. We have magnets with the RYDE logo on the side of all vehicles and we share with the rider the name of their driver. This precaution has helped our riders feel more comfortable utilizing the program.
For more information about this valuable program that supports seniors in retaining their independence, click on the link to the RYDE program on the WVCS website.