Gloucester Resource Council

Demand Surges for Bay Transit’s New Freedom Program Services

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New Freedom is a transportation service providing seniors and individuals with disabilities the ability to attend medical appointments, shop, work and attend social and recreational events even for travel outside of Bay Transit’s service area and/or service hours. Participants pay a nominal fee for each round trip. For round trips of fifty miles or less, there is a five-dollar fare. For round trip journeys greater than fifty miles the fare is only ten dollars.

Katherine Newman, Bay Transit’s New Freedom Program Manager, has been managing Bay Transit’s New Freedom program since 2013 and is a passionate advocate for program participants. New Freedom is funded through a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant to serve all twelve counties in Bay Transit’s service area. Because these federal funds are limited, program participation is limited to not more than two round trip rides per month. A partnership with the MedCarry Volunteer Transportation program supplements New Freedom to help address additional demand. “Individuals of any age with disabilities qualify to participate in New Freedom whether they have a short-term disability such as a broken leg or they are rehabilitating after surgery,” Newman said. “Those with long-term disabilities, mental health disabilities, with mobility issues or chronic health issues are also eligible to participate.” About ninety percent of New Freedom trips are outside of Bay Transit’s service area to typical destinations such as the VA Medical Centers in Richmond and Hampton, regional hospitals in Newport News and for medical services in Fredericksburg, Richmond, Williamsburg, and Norfolk.

For more information about Bay Transit’s New Freedom program, to inquire about driving for Bay Transit, or volunteering to be a MedCarry driver, call or email Katherine Newman today at (804) 824-2546 or knewman@bayaging.org.

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