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O’Fallon to provide transportation program for residents with diabilities

FullSizeRenderThe city of O’Fallon now is offering its residents a Disabled Transportation Program – at no cost to them.

At a meeting on Oct. 23, the City Council approved a contract with ZipCare Transportation to provide services for the program.

O’Fallon’s Communications Director Tom Drabelle said the program will work like a taxi service for residents who are legally disabled. Rides can be scheduled by calling (314) 292-7302 ext. 380 or online at zipcaretransportation.com.

“Anyone that qualifies for the program would be able to call the number, (to) get a ride to essential living appointments. That could include medical appointments, that could include local grocery shopping,” Drabelle said, citing a few examples.

He said funds to pay for the program will come from O’Fallon’s Community Development Block Grant and estimated that the program will cost about $5,000 per year.

Jessica Hawkins, public assistance specialist for O’Fallon, said the service’s first year in existence will be a trial run for the city.

“Given that this is a new program, we are going to learn as we go, and I’m sure adjustments are going to need to be made,” Hawkins said.

According to Drabelle, the impetus for the program came from several residents with disabilities who came before the city council two years ago asking for such a service to be provided.

O’Fallon already has a Senior Transportation and Rides program, which offers eligible residents rides to necessary medical services.

Hawkins said residents needing transportation must set up an appointment 48 hours in advance. Residents must provide proof of disability through their disability award letter, and proof of O’Fallon residence via a photo ID or Social Security information. They also will need to provide their appointment time and address, and whether or not a return trip is needed.

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