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All Points Transit offers options for elderly, disabled

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Photo by Tamie Meck Sharon Fipps, All Points Transit executive director, spoke last week to the Rotary Club of the North Fork about what the organization does and how it serves the elderly and disabled in the North Fork area. She was surprised to learn th

Sharon Fipps wants everyone to know about All Points Transit. APT, a Montrose-based non-profit transportation provider, offers mobility options for seniors and the disabled in San Miguel, Montrose and Delta counties. It employs 40 people and utilizes 30 vehicles.

Speaking to the Rotary Club of the North Fork on Feb. 11, Fipps, executive director of APT, said it concerns her that many people in the North Fork area, including some of the senior Rotary members, don't know about the services available through APT.

In Delta County, APT provides door-to-door transportation options for those unable to drive to meal/nutrition sites and doctor's appointments. Fipps explained that seniors and the disabled often become isolated, and their heath can begin to decline. "Imagine yourself without a car," said Fipps, and having to rely on others for transportation. "It's pretty serious stuff" and the reason APT services the area.

Their No. 1 function is medical transportation. "Our service is here for that reason," said Fipps.

They also provide rides to meals at the Hotchkiss and Paonia senior centers every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Each Tuesday they provide medical and shopping trips from Hotchkiss and Paonia to Delta, and on Thursdays provide limited rides on an as-needed basis. No services are provided the final Friday of the month.

About 30 percent of APT's funding comes from the state and federal level, with the balance coming from municipalities, counties and other sources. One of its partners, the Region 10 Area Agency on Aging, provides about 17 percent of the budget.

Since joining the non-profit in 2013, Fipps said she has worked to improve and expand services in Delta County, expanding operations by one hour a day and adding drivers and vehicles. Seven vehicles now service the county.

An hour a day may not seem like much, said Fipps, but it helps with late-day doctor's appointments, and in winter, getting riders home before dark. In the event of "one-offs," individuals who require special medical transportation needs or have a large wheelchair that can't be accommodated by a bus lift, the organization purchased a special minivan.

Now that these improvements are in place, and word is getting out, Phipps said they have seen a 39.6 percent increase in ridership in Delta County. "It's huge," she said, and tells her that the organization is doing things right.

Appointments are required, preferably at least 24 hours in advance. Medical trips take precedence over shopping and personal trips.

APT also provides trips to Grand Junction on a limited basis, and offers rides three days a week to Montrose for dialysis patients. And while they don't provide ongoing service to Somerset, "In an emergency, we're always willing to help out," said Fipps.

APT encourages those with other transportation options to use them in order to allow space for those who truly need the service. Fees do apply, and financial assistance is available for those who qualify.

Phipps encourages those who know people who might benefit from the service to get the word out.

To become an active passenger, obtain a schedule, or for more information, visit www.allpointstransit.com or call 970-240-9205 or 874-7334.

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North Fork
All Points Transit, Paonia
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