A partnership between local law enforcement, seniors and senior service providers
Helping Northern Neck residents stay at home as they age is the goal of Bay Transit, which offers several options for getting around the area even if you have no car. Transit Director Ken Pollock outlined the services at the Triad Council’s Feb. 24 meeting, explained how the system works and let us glimpse what’s in the future for the transit service.
Bay Transit is just one division of Bay Aging, which also provides Meals on Wheels, senior centers, home care, low-income senior apartments, weatherization and emergency home repairs and counseling on Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
With fewer than 150,000 people spread over some 3,000 square miles, public transportation is definitely a challenge, Pollock said. The system has grown since 1996 to cover 12 counties and 4 towns, employing 100 people and operating more than 45 vehicles.
How It Works
The regular van. If you need a ride, call in advance to schedule your pickup by the Transit van—24 hours ahead is good; 48 hours is even better. With one bus serving Richmond County, and two covering Essex, scheduling is tough, and you’ll be sharing a ride, meaning your trip will take longer than if you had a direct ride from home to your destination. You might be picked up at 9 for an 11 o’clock appointment, for example.
Cost is $2 each way. You can pay the driver directly or buy a coupon book for a discounted ride—they make great gifts!
Neck Connect. New last summer, this is a fixed route that serves stops in Montross, Warsaw, Callao and Lottsburg between 10 am and 2 pm Monday-Friday. Cost is $0.50 per ride. It’s particularly geared to Rappahannock Community College students and clients of the counseling center. Other Transit buses connect with these stops, and transfers are free.
New Freedom Service. Seniors (60-plus years) and people of any age with disabilities (short-term or long-term) are eligible for this service, which contracts with local taxi services to provide rides outside of Bay Transit’s hours (Sundays or evenings) or service area (a medical appointment in Richmond, for example). Since funding is a challenge, Pollock said, each person can only have two rides per month.
Reserve three days in advance; cost is $5 round trip for under 50 miles, $10 for 50-99 miles.
Who Rides and Why
Bay Transit carries an average of 150,000 riders a year. With an average trip of 10 miles, that adds up to 1.5 million miles a year, Pollock said. About 40% of those rides take people to and from work; 22% are for medical reasons; 19% take people for shopping.
Top destinations: RCC and the library; Hardee’s in Warsaw (a central transfer point for buses from other counties); Warsaw Dialysis; Food Lion; Dollar General; and the Warsaw Counseling Center.
For More Information