New Vehicle Share Program to provide much needed transportation services to older adults and persons with disabilities

SOLANO COUNTY, CA (June 28, 2019) – It’s about to get a lot easier for older adults and persons with disabilities to get around in Solano County. On Friday, June 28, starting at 11 a.m. at the County Administration Center, located at 675 Texas Street in Fairfield, Solano County officials, in partnership with the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and Solano Transportation Authority, invites everyone to celebrate the launch of the new Vehicle Share Program, an innovative, demand-driven, cost-saving ride-share program.

The Solano Transportation Authority (STA) hosted a series of public mobility summit meetings last year where it was determined that improving mobility opportunities for older adults and persons with disabilities to medical trips is the priority in Solano County. Non-profit agencies caring for older adults and persons with disabilities have expressed interest in providing transportation services, but lack the resources necessary to purchase, maintain and run a cost-effective in-house transportation system.

“One of the greatest needs expressed to STA over the years has been expanded access to transportation to medical appointments for older adults and persons with disabilities,” says Jim Spering, Solano County District 3 Supervisor and long-standing member of the STA Board of Directors. “The Vehicle Share Program will provide the mobility that will offer direct access to everything from shopping to doctor’s appointments.”

The new Vehicle Share Program consists of two paratransit vehicles, each capable of transporting a person seated in a wheelchair and four additional passengers. STA will own, maintain and manage the vehicles, in addition to training drivers – giving users of the Vehicle Share Program the flexibility to transport seniors and those traveling with disabilities to places they want to go.

Grant funding provided by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation allowed STA to purchase the two vehicles at a cost of $50,000 each. The generous donation was made as part of the ongoing partnership between Solano County and the Tribe. 

“Solano County’s partnership with the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation is growing throughout the County,” says Erin Hannigan, District 1 Supervisor and Chairwoman of the Solano County Board of Supervisors. “I am excited about our collaboration with the Solano Transportation Authority on the Vehicle Share Program which expands our diverse portfolio of offerings to the people of our community.”

The Vehicle Share Program, launching this August, will allow non-profit agencies caring for older adults and persons with disabilities to utilize the vehicles for trips, including doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, social outings and more. The non-profits are responsible for providing a licensed and trained driver, maintaining general liability insurance and paying for any fuel used.

“The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, through our Doyuti T’uhkama partnership, is certainly honored to be working with Solano County in a growing range of programs that are helping so many residents with critical needs including food and medical services,” said Anthony Roberts, Yocha Dehe Tribal Chairman. “The Vehicle Share Program is another great step. By offering mobility — especially to the elderly and persons with disabilities — we provide them essential access to basic resources they simply must have to live healthy lives."

Thanks to funding from the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and the mutually beneficial partnership between the County and STA, everyone using the new Vehicle Share Program stands to benefit from the ride-share service.  Non-profit agencies transporting older adults and persons with disabilities will save on transportation costs, their clients will make clinic appointments more often, STA will expand transportation services offered to Solano County residents and the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation will give back to a community with which it has deep ancestral ties – a win, win, win for everyone involved.