New River Valley Community Services ‘Community Transit Go’ program gives access to those who need it most

Public transportation access in rural communities is a tough issue for residents, but now there is a new option for folks in the New River Valley, and it’s free.

The New River Valley Community Services’ Community Transit Go program aims to provide public transportation to seniors and those disabled who don’t have access.

To see how everything has been going since the April 8 launch, I hopped on the bus to go on one of their routes.

On the way, I talked to the bus driver about how the reception has been since starting.

“I have never seen as much appreciation for a service as what this is,” said Chris Lytton, operation specialist for NRVCS.

He said he is answering calls daily to help explain what the program is, and how to get set up

“I took a phone call and I registered them right on the phone,” Lytton said.

As we arrived at our first stop, I met Greg Wright who was the first rider of the service.

“They opened this service up right then, just perfect,” said Wright.

He said without this service he would not be able to get to his physical therapy so he could walk again.

“They say all my nerves are firing now, so it’s just a matter of getting my strength back,” said Wright. “I’ll tell you it’s a lifesaver for anyone out in the county.”

While the service can take him to all of his doctor’s appointments, it’s not only for appointments.

“One woman who had been in a bad car wreck and she had recovered enough to go back to work, but she didn’t have a way to get there,” said Wright. “That is a five-day-a-week thing and they’ll take her and bring her back.”

After we dropped off Wright at the physical therapist’s, I talked to the transportation general manager for NRVCS and he told me their first month has been promising.

“In the first 17 days of service of April, we were able to get 65 people registered, we were able to perform about 55 trips, and we were able to cover about 2,000 miles in that time,” said Trevor Sakry.

He said they are hoping to get more people registered now that they have had time to get established.

About the Author

Thomas grew up right here in Roanoke and is a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech.

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