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Seniors, disabled can hitch a ride in JE

The brand new Jordan-Elbridge Transportation mini-bus officially hit the streets July 1, the first free transportation program in town to help local disabled and elderly residents get where they need to go.

The program was established to provide transportation to disabled residents and those ages 60 and older which needed help getting to medical and other appointments and essential services. Town Councilor Rita Dygert spearheaded the project and announced that the bus had been ordered in January. The vehicle was delivered to Elbridge Town Hall in April; rider and volunteer policies were written up and will be overseen by the JET committee, consisting of nine community members.

Dygert had said the J-E area was in need of transportation for seniors and disabled residents, since the Centro Call-A-Bus program would only pick up J-E residents in Camillus.

The program

The mini-bus can seat 12 passengers, or 10 passengers and two in wheelchairs, and features a wheelchair lift. The volunteer drivers and companions provide curb-to-curb transportation, but do not escort passengers into their homes, but riders can bring one companion with them on trips.

Pickups will begin at 8 a.m. and each weekday has a priority destination: Auburn on Monday, the J-E area on Tuesday and Friday, Syracuse and Camillus on Wednesday, and Skaneateles on Thursday. If time allows, trips to other locations can be scheduled.

There is no charge to ride the JET bus, but donations are welcome and can be made when boarding the bus or by check to The JET Program, 5 Route 31 W., PO Box 568, Jordan, N.Y., 13080. To make a reservation for a JET pickup, call 689-3431 at least two days in advance.

For more information about the program, contact the town of Elbridge at 689-3431.

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Made possible in large part through a grant secured by Sen. John A. DeFrancisco, the JET vehicle made several public appearances before the July 1 roll-out date emblazoned with a "Thank you Senator DeFrancisco" banner.

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