|The West Virginia Department of Transportation’s (WVDOT) Division of Multimodal Transportation Facilities' Division of Public Transit recently helped procure eight handicapped-accessible minivans to help rural seniors get to medical appointments or other places they need to go in communities that may not have access to bus or taxi service.
“The WVDOT is more than just roadways,” said Bill Robinson, director of the Division of Public Transit. “We seek ways to find transportation options for all the citizens of the state.”
Public Transit procured the vehicles through the federal 5310 Program, which is designed to enhance mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities throughout the country. Local community groups to which the minivans are supplied are responsible for coming up with a 20 percent match of the approximately $64,000 cost of each vehicle.
The special minivans are lowered and equipped with a ramp to allow the easy loading of a wheelchair, which can be safely secured inside. The vans will each hold one wheelchair and three passengers; if a wheelchair isn’t being accommodated an extra set of seats can fold down to house two more passengers.