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Riders could see fee increase

August 30, 2010

Elmer Lint has ridden Greenway Public Transportation for more than six years.
The service is critical for 85-year-old Lint’s well-being – from attending necessary medical appointments to getting his hair cut.

But with funding cut for a North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services grant, Lint is paying more for his weekly rides on the Greenway Dial-A-Ride van service.
“It’s not a problem for me, but there’s a lot of people that can’t afford it,” Lint said. “I’m sure there are people on that van who can’t afford it.”

Greenway transportation, which is part of the Western Piedmont Regional Transit Authority, was a recipient of funding from the Home and Community Care Block Grant, which comes from the federal government’s Older Americans Act and Social Services Block Grant, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

“It’s a funding program for overriding the cost of transportation,” said Ed Clifford, Greenway executive director.

The funding is designed for Americans age 60 and older who need help with day-to-day activities, from medical visit transportation to meal home-delivery.

Clifford said there weren’t many people utilizing the service for doctor’s visits, and grant officials thought the funding would be better used for other older-adult services, such as nutrition services.
Lint said he will continue to use the bus despite increased amount of money he will pay.
“I think it’s a wonderful service for people, if the bus is there,” he said.

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